Irish and hailing from Chicago, Leo McGarry serves his country — and President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet — as White House Chief of Staff. He is Jed’s best friend and widely known as being responsible for convincing the future POTUS to run for the office. With a new election on the horizon, a single phrase kept running through his mind: “Bartlet for America.” Once Jed was elected, Leo became his friend’s closest advisor and a father figure to the White House staff, most notably Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman and Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn.
Upon entering the White House, Leo is married to Jenny with a grown daughter, Mallory. He is a recovering alcoholic, a fact that is widely known. He is also a veteran of the Vietnam War and incredibly wealthy — even more so than the president — thanks to a long and successful career in the private sector.
As President Bartlet’s top advisor, Leo is intimately involved in the creation of policy and the day-to-day operations of the administration. It’s not unusual to hear him described as the man who actually runs the White House, rather than Jed, and is greatly respected by both Democrats and Republicans alike.