Leslie Ann Sykes was born on June 27, 1965 in Compton, California. She is the youngest daughter of Abel Baxton Sykes, Jr., who worked as the administrator of Compton Community College and Sylvia Mae Thierry Sykes, the house wife. Her two older sisters are Dawn Carol Sykes and Daphne Grace Sykes. All three of the Sykes’ sisters attended St. Joseph High School in Compton.

Listening to her parent’s advice, Leslie decided to continue her studies in one of the first American liberal arts institution for black women - Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she received a major in English Language and Literature. Historically, many graduates of this college made an astonishing impact on the society and were active fighters for the civil rights. Young miss Sykes was inspired by many active alumnus, many of whom were Pulitzer Prize winners, actors and entrepreneurs. Around this time Leslie got interested in television: in 1988 appeared in Spike Lee’s film “School Daze” as Miss Mission. It is believed that Leslie began her journalism carrier owing to her participation in this film.

She started as a general assignment reporter at Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. Then, she got an internship at back –then KCOP –TV television station, which is now called My Network TV. Afterwards, she settled at FOX affiliate channel KTTV, where she took a desk assistant position. However, her ambition led her to the further achievements.

In the early 1990’s Leslie WDAM-TV appointed her to lead an on-air job in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. At WDAM-TV Sykes was able to work not only as a three times a day reporter, but also as a newscast producer. After her first major market assignment in New Orleans, Louisiana Sykes was appointed as a general assignment reporter for KABC-TV's "Eyewitness News" program.

In the late 1990’s Leslie Ann Sykes was already known as a great reporter, so in 1998 she was offered to become a new female anchor for WBBM-TV. The reason for such an offer was the immediate need of replacement of Sarah Lucero. Eventually, Leslie preferred to stay within Los Angeles and declined the offer of the WBBM-TV channel. The time showed that Sykes made a right decision. In 1999 she officially was announced as a co-anchor of the “Eyewitness News”. Ten years later Sykes also co-anchored a noon slot of the program and finally joined the team of “Eyewitness News This Morning”.

Even though Sykes reveals the events in lives of others, we barely know anything about her private life. It’s known that she had married to Patrick Spann, the director of Enterprise Data Warehousing at Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. for more than 17 years and has a son Patrick Spann Jr. The happy family lives in the View Park-Windsor Hills Neighborhood of Los Angeles.

Last Modified: Apr 6, 2020

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