(Born: July 1898. Died: May 14, 1956). Leo Vinton Butts was the son of a slave who escaped to the camp of the Wisconsin 5th regiment and settled in Madison by the year 1870. In 1898, Leo was born and in 1913 he attended Madison High School excelling in both football and track. After graduation, Leo attended the University of Wisconsin and joined the football program in September of 1918 as a substitute guard, becoming the first African American football player at Wisconsin. Information about his playing days is scarce, but it is known that he played in at least one game that season and that he was put on the traveling squad for two road games against Minnesota and Ohio State.
Leo gave up football in 1920 to focus on his education, graduating from the University of Wisconsin Pharmacy School, becoming the first African American to do so. After graduation, Leo moved to Gary, Indiana and worked as a postman for 20 years. After this Leo purchased Owl Drug Store in Gary, he would run the store until his death in 1956 from a “heart ailment”.