Robert1Bob Leslie, a yacht broker who helped lay the foundation for present-day Marina del Rey as the original executive director and executive vice president of the Marina Lessees Assoc., has died. He was 86.

Leslie, a leader of the association for 25 years, died on May 15 from health complications after he was injured in a fall, said Uta Leslie, his wife of 31 years. A celebration of Leslie’s life was held on June 21 at the California Yacht Club, where Uta Leslie served as commodore last year.

“Bob joined the Marina Lessees Assoc. when we were just getting started and his input was invaluable to making the marina what it is today. His counsel was terrific. He loved the marina and devoted much of his life to seeing that it was a success,” said Jerry Epstein, one of the original leaseholders in the marina.

Epstein, 90, built the Del Rey Shores apartments in the early 1960s and replaced them with the modern resort-style the Shores complex in 2013.

Before arriving in Marina del Rey, Leslie served in the U.S. Coast Guard during World War II and the Korean War, his wife said. Leslie was a sail and power boat enthusiast and racer who served as president of the National Boating Federation and commodore of both the Pacific and Southern California yacht associations.

“He was an honest, straightforward and very well-respected guy. Everybody used to say that if you wanted to know what’s going on in the marina, call Bob Leslie,” his wife said.

Leslie is also survived by four children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

— Joe Piasecki