Leslie Smith was born March 6, 1918, in Enfield, England.

At only 14 years old, Leslie left school. During World War 11, Smith served with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Smith comannded a Mine Sweeper.

Forming a partnership with his friend Rodney Smith, they set up a business as die casters in London. The company was called "Lesney Product".

Big success came in 1953 with the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. They manufactured a miniature version of her coronation coach which went on to sell more than a million copies. A staggering amount for that time.

In 1968, Leslie Smith was awarded an OBE. During the height of Matchbox, they manufactured more then one million cars a week.

Leslie Smith died on May 26, 2005.

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