Leopoldo M. Hernández was born in Havana in 1921 and grew up in Cuba's capital city. His elementary education at the Colegio Marista Champagnot was followed by that of the secondary Instituto de Segunda Enseñanza de la Vibora, a Havana neighborhood. He became a lawyer, obtaining his doctorate in jurisprudence from the Universidad de La Habana in 1945. To that point Hernández had dabbled in the short story, a traditional Cuban genre, but at age twenty-six he began writing drama and thereafter he never ceased writing. The short story genre has yielded fourteen stories in English, all unpublished, and some sixty-three stories in Spanish. Twenty-three of these won the CCC literary prize and were published in a book entitled Cuentos viejos, breves, minúsculos ( San Sebastián: CCC, 1977.) Others have appeared in Bohemia ( "El niño cueruso" in 1959, and "La carretilla," "La décima," and "La sonrisa" in 1960), in Los Angeles' Revista América ( "Danny" in 1971 and "La mica" in 1973) and in UCLA's Mester ( "La montaña" in 1969). Hernández also has three unpublished novels ( "Y salieron del humo," from 1975, Letras de Oro finalist in 1988; "Diario Cero" from 1974 and "Kiri" from 1974, this one a novella), and poetry together with other prose works. Of the later his most important is Eric: viñetas sobre un ladrón chiquito, Los Angeles, 1972. His one book, "Carta a mi madre muerta" y "Carta a mi madre viva": Dos poemas, appeared in Havana, 1960, in limited edition.
His production in Spanish and in English includes more than fifty plays (some forty-three conventional plays, nine monologues, and a fourteen scene tableau entitled Extraño mundo nuestro). His plays have been recognized with prizes and awards, staged and published. Those receiving awards in Cuba are "La pendiente," by Sala Arlequín in 1959, "El mudo," "Los huesos," and "El barquito de papel" (a children's play), all receiving government recognition in 1961, and "Martínez," which was recognized in 1980 and staged in Los Angeles a year later by the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts with Luis Ávalos playing the lead role. Published plays include a book written under the pseudonym of Karlo Thomas entitled Teatro de la Revolución (Mexico, 1957), which collects three plays ( "La espalda," "La consagración del miedo" and "Los hombres mueren solos"), "Sombras" which appeared in Diario Libre, October, 1959, "Mañana, el sol" in Mestre I, 1 ( 1981); "La Pendiente" appeared in 1959 and merited the praise of Frank Dauster in his Historia del teatro hispanoamericano; he credits him with