Jay Leno (James Douglas Muir “Jay” Leno born April 28, 1950) is an American comedian, actor, writer, producer, and television host. Leno was the host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from 1992 to 2009. Beginning in September 2009, Leno started a primetime talk show, titled The Jay Leno Show, which aired weeknights at 10:00 p.m. (Eastern Time, UTC-5), also on NBC. After The Jay Leno Show was canceled in January 2010 amid a host controversy, Leno returned to host The Tonight Show with Jay Leno on March 1, 2010. Leno hosted his last episode of the Tonight Show on February 6, 2014. That same year, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
In 2001, along with his wife, he donated $100,000 to the Feminist Majority’s campaign to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan, to educate the public regarding the plight of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule. Mavis Leno is on the board of the Feminist Majority.
In 2009, he donated $100,000 to a scholarship fund at Salem State College (now Salem State University) in honor of Lennie Sogoloff, who gave Leno his start at his jazz club, Lennie’s-on-the-Turnpike.
In August 2012, Leno auctioned his Fiat 500 which was sold for $385,000 with all the proceeds going to a charity that helps wounded war veterans recover by providing them temporary housing.
Since 1985 Jay Leno has been the grand marshal for the Love Ride, a motorcycle charity event which since its founding in 1984 has raised nearly $14 million for charities benefiting muscular dystrophy research, Autism Speaks, and in 2001, the September 11 attacks recovery. Leno arrived at the 45th Primetime Emmy Awards in his Hispano-Suiza Aero.
Leno owns approximately 886 vehicles (769 automobiles and 117 motorcycles). He also has a website called “Jay Leno’s Garage,” which contains video clips and photos of his automobiles in detail, as well as other vehicles of interest to him. Leno’s Garage Manager is Bernard Juchli. Jay Leno’s collection boats two Doble steam cars, a sedan and a roadster that were owned by Howard Hughes.
Jay Leno has a regular column in Popular Mechanics which showcases his car collection and gives advice about various automotive topics, including restoration and unique models, such as his jet-powered motorcycle and solar-powered hybrid. Leno also writes occasional “Motormouth” articles for The Sunday Times, reviewing high-end sports cars and giving his humorous take on automotive matters.
Leno opened his garage to Team Bondi, the company that developed the critically acclaimed video-game L.A. Noire, which is set in Los Angeles in the late 1940s. Leno’s collection contains almost 100 cars from this period, and allowed the team to recreate their images as accurately as possible.