Annie Leonard was born 1964 in Seattle, Washington, where she also grew up. She graduated from the Lakeside School, and has an undergraduate degree from Barnard College and a graduate degree from Cornell University in city and regional planning.
Leonard is best known as the creator and narrator of the animated documentary about the life-cycle of material goods, The Story of Stuff. The documentary began as an hour-long talk, and was made into a condensed film version based on popular demand. She also published a book version of the film, released on March 9, 2010 by Free Press of Simon & Schuster.