Born in Accra, Ghana in 1944 of Greek parentage Leventis was educated in England and the USA, where he studied animal husbandry at the university of California in Frenso.
A self-taught painter from the age of eight, Leventis dreamed of pursuing a career in the arts –
however his father objected as there was a family business in West Africa to go to. Whilst working in
Lagos, Leventis met his wife Geraldine and they soon left Nigeria for London, but unable to support themselves, they moved back to Greece, setting up a warm water fish farm on his father’s property in the Peloponnese.
In 1980, whilst on holiday in London, Leventis had a chance meeting with the artist Francis Bacon in a Soho Restaurant. Keeping in touch with Bacon over the next two years, his encouragement gave him the confidence to leave Greece for London and follow his dream of a career in art remaining close to Bacon and John Edwards, attending exhibitions in Paris and New York together.
Today, Leventis still works in London together with his wife Geraldine, who opened a small chain of restaurants and delis called Raoul’s.