Leonard Riggio is a graduate from the Brooklyn Technical High School (in 1958) and the New York University.
In 1965, Leonard Riggio establishes a small book shop called Student Book Exchange (SBX) and makes it a successful business. Four years later Leonard Riggio buys another bookstore, Barnes & Noble, in New York City. Riggio decides to adopt the name Barnes & Noble for his chain of bookstores, when he progressively acquires hundreds of shops.
Leonard Riggio is also the founder of GameStop, a chain of more than 6,600 video games shops across 15 countries.
In 2000, Leonard Riggio won the Americanism Award from the ADL or Anti-Defamation League.