Meet Leonard Francois, Naomi Osaka’s Father

Leonard Francois is the father of Naomi Osaka, the professional tennis player. He is a Haitian-American man who became a tennis coach for the sake of his daughters.

Leonard followed the blueprint laid down by Serena and Venus Williams’ father to make professional tennis players out of his two daughters. Though his first child, Mari Osaka, didn’t go far with sports, his second daughter, Naomi, has already made a name as the world’s number one and needless to say, the future looks very bright for father and daughter.

Summary of Leonard Francois’s Biography

  • Full Name: Leonard Maxime Francois
  • Nickname: Leo
  • Gender: Male
  • Date of Birth: 1st of December
  • Ethnicity: Haitian-American
  • Nationality: Haitian
  • Zodiac Sign: Sagittarius
  • Sexual Orientation: Straight
  • Religion: Christianity
  • Marital Status: Married
  • Leonard Francois’s Husband (Wife): Tamaki Osaka
  • Leonard Francois’s Children: Mari and Naomi Osaka
  • Leonard Francois’s Height in Inches: 6 feet
  • Leonard Francois’s Height in Centimeters: 183 cm
  • Famous For: Being the father of Naomi Osaka

Where is Leonard Francois From?

Leonard Francois hails from Jacmel, Haiti. Though he has never deemed it necessary to mention his year of birth in the public arena, it’s known that he celebrates his birthday every 1st of December. His heritage is said to be Haitian Creole. He was named, Leonard Maxime Francois at birth. Leo played a bit of baseball while growing up

Though he was born in Haiti in the Caribbean, Leonard only spent a better part of his formative years there before relocating to the United States. His first port of call was New York where he attended university before moving to Japan in 1990. It was during his time in the Asian country that he met the woman who would become his wife.

Living in the United States for many years conferred the status of a Haitian-American on Leo. Meanwhile, he Leo hasn’t said much about his parents, but they are non-English speakers.

What does Naomi Osaka’s Father do for a Living?

When he was through with his studies in New York, Leonard Francois started working after making the move to Japan, but the kind of job he did has never been revealed. He reportedly worked in Japan for almost one decade before moving to Long Island where he put in five years of work in paid employment.

Before he even moved his family to Japan, Francois was opportune to see the French Open where the Williams sisters Venus (18) and Serena (17), teamed up to emerge winners of the doubles.

Highly inspired by the win, Leo who was also a father of two girls, decided to follow the blueprint of Venus and Serena’s dad and started training his daughters, Mari Osaka (four) and Naomi Osaka (three). However, where they were living in Long Island didn’t have the needed facilities to facilitate their training which led Leo to move them down to Florida in 2006 for better training opportunities.

This was how the Haitian became a tennis coach without any professional coaching experience. Leonard Francois didn’t even bother to send Naomi and her sister to school, but preferred to put them through the home-schooling system.

The girls would study in the evening but in the daytime, they would be out hitting the ball several thousand times, according to Leonard.

As Mari and Naomi grew older, the determined father felt they needed a professional hand to handle them and took the girls to a proper training school all in a bid to improve on what they had achieved so far.

Even after Naomi found a professional coach, her dad continued to give her some training on the side. There was a time he even became the girl’s head coach in 2019 when she was in between caches.

At that time, Naomi joked that though she considered her dad’s support to be important, he can also be frustrating and annoying at times. Thus, she brought in another coach to continue from where he stopped.

Leonard Francois and Tamaki Osaka Have been Married for Decades

The exact time that Leonard Francois weeded his wife, Tamaki Osaka, is not known, but the couple has been married for almost three decades. They first crossed paths when Leo was a college student who visited Japan for the first time in 1990. At that time, Tamaki was still a teenager in high school, but they went on to date in secret.

At a point in their relationship, Tamaki discovered that her parents were busy finalizing the process of an arranged marriage for her and that was when she opened up about her relationship with Leonard. The fact that Leo was a foreigner and a Blackman enraged Tamaki’s parents who severed all ties with her but that didn’t stop the love birds from going ahead with their wedding plans.

They eventually wedded and relocated to the United States where they trained their children. Thankfully, they later reconciled with Tamaki’s family.

How Many Children Does Leonard Francois Have?

Leonard Francois is a father of two – both girls. The Haitian-American became a father for the first time on the 3rd of April 1996 when his daughter, Mari Osaka, was born.

Mari grew up to become a professional tennis player after being coached by her dad for many years. However, in March 2021, she took to her Instagram handle to inform fans of her decision to retire from active tennis. Describing her years as a tennis player as a journey she never enjoyed for one day, Mari said she remains grateful for the tremendous support she received over the years and the priceless memories she has built.

Mari was barely one when she became a big sister to Leonard Francois’s second daughter, Naomi Osaka, who was born on the 16th of October 1997. Like her big sister, Naomi plays tennis at a professional level and appears to be a better player than Mari.

In 2022, the younger Osaka sister was named the World’s number one tennis player. She went on to become the first player of Japanese origin to ever bag a major singles title.

The Osaka sister reminds fans of the famous Williams sisters Serena and Venus and their father’s unflinching support is only comparable to what the Williams got from their own dad, Richard Williams.

The girls are also super close to their mum. After Naomi won the match against Serena in 2018, she ran into her mother’s arms in an emotional and tearful moment.

Leonard is a Grandfather

Leonard is not just a father, but also a grandfather. He became a grandfather in January 2023 when his second daughter, Naomi, welcomed a baby girl. The baby’s dad was later revealed as Naomi’s boyfriend Cordae; they have been dating since 2019.

Chidiebube has been writing and editing articles on movies, entertainment and other juicy things for several years. When he is not writing, he spends time outdoors, lost in the beauty of nature or simply travelling around the world. Thank goodness he can do the later with any internet-enabled device


Featured Today

Fact Check

We strive for fairness and accuracy, if you've found a possible error or something that needs updating, please contact us

Related Stories