our founder, mentor, guide and friend
1928 - 2012
Robert G. Leysen, 83, entrepreneur and founder of the Psychic Eye Book Shops, the country's largest chain of new age and occult bookstores, left this Earth on Monday, June 11, 2012 at the Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas.
Robert was born on November 21, 1928 in Muscatine, Iowa, the only child of George Alfred Leysen and Mabel (Crippen) Leysen. He worked extensively with the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus early in his life, instilling in him an innate sense of all things theatrical. Robert was also an accomplished jazz musician, and toured the country in the 1940's and 50's with his own act, the Bob Leysen Combo. Throughout his musical career, he played with such notables as The Captain & Tennille, Holiday On Ice, Bob Hope, Tony Orlando and Bob Dylan.
He enlisted in the Army during the Korean Conflict and was asked to audition for the Fifth Army Corps Band, with which he served for the duration of the conflict.
Robert is survived by his partner of 26 years, Mary Karahalios; his sons Craig Leysen of Orlando, Florida and Gary Leysen of Hilton Head, South Carolina; his granddaughters, Brittnee and Bridgett Leysen, also of Hilton Head; and his dear friend Dorothy Cook, of Las Vegas.
His most successful endeavor and the pride of his existence was his stores, the Psychic Eye Book Shops. Originally opened in Los Angeles in 1985, through Robert's unceasing guidance and sense of "showbiz," the stores soon grew to fourteen west coast locations and remain mainstays of the Las Vegas and Los Angeles scenes to this day.
Robert loved meeting his customers and the public in general, and it can be truly said that he "never met a stranger."
© 2012 Psychic Eye Book Shops, Inc.