Fred Leighton was actually born Murray Mondschein in the Bronx New, York July 23, 1932. His father was a taxi driver and his mother a homemaker. After school he headed into the army and served in Italy. Coming home from Italy he first opened a florist shop in Los Angeles before moving back to New York. Once back in New York he purchased a Mexican arts and crafts store on Macdougal Street in Greenwich Village in 1959 called Fred Leighton after its formal owner. Mondschein added wedding dresses and Georgian, Victorian, and Art Deco jewelry to the inventory. His business grew and in the late 1970s he moved to the upper east side of Manhattan. Then in 1986 he legally changed his name to Fred Leighton. By the mid 1990's Fred began loaning jewelry to celebrities which drew in larger and better clients. Business continued to grow and Leighton sold the company to Ralph Esmerian in 2005. A few years later the company filed bankruptcy and the new owner was under scrutiny from the state and federal government. In 2009, Kwiat Enterprises, LLC together with Sculptor Capital Management|Och-Ziff Capital Management Group and FOF Inventory Holding, purchased Fred Leighton’s assets, including its inventory and retail stores in New York and Las Vegas.