Bachelor of Science, Wayne State University, 1950. Master of Science, Wayne State University, 1952. Doctor of Philosophy, Wayne State University, 1978.
Doctor of Science (honorary), University Aberdeen, Scotland, 1996.
Leith joined the University of Michigan as a research assistant and was promoted to graduate research assistant in 1955, research associate in 1956, research engineer in 1960, associate professor in 1965, and full professor in 1968. Professor Leith and his coworker Juris Upatnieks at the University of Michigan displayed the world"s first three-dimensional hologram at a conference of the Optical Society of America in 1964. He was awarded the 1985 Frederic Ives Medal by the The Optical Society.
Served with United States Naval Reserve, 1945-1946. Fellow Optical Society American (Wood medal 1975, Herbert Ives medal 1985), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (Liebmann award 1967, Inventor of Year award 1976), Engineering Society.Detroit (honorary), The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain (honorary);member National Academy Engineering, Sigma Xi, Sigma Pi Sigma.
Married Lois June Neswold, February 17, 1956. Children: Kim Ellen, Pam Elizabeth.