- "Leo's thick hand was pale but flecked with brown spots. Crowding forty, sandy and square, Leo wore comfortable red company coveralls by long habit, partly to blend with the workers he supervised, mostly so that he need never waste time and thought deciding what to put on in the morning. 'Graf,' read the label printed over his left breast pocket, eliminating all mystery."
He was a welding engineer with considerable experience in training, testing, and the study of failures of complex systems; over time, he worked on many major projects for GalacTech:
- The Morita Deep Space Transfer Station was his greatest creation before he joined the quaddies.
- At Beni Ra, he discovered and corrected propagating micro-cracks in reactor coolant lines, saving thousands of people roughly once a month for a year.
- The Argus Cruiser Project, which gave him useful security clearances later.
- And, of course, he transformed a space station into a space ship and fled with a thousand quaddies to a remote star system and, upon arrival there, designed Quaddiespace for them. Graf Station was named in his honor.
The tale of how he joined the quaddies and led them to freedom is told in Falling Free.
Personality and traits
- "There is nothing, nothing, nothing more important to me in the men and women I train than their absolute personal integrity. Whether you function as welders or inspectors, the laws of physics are implacable lie-detectors. You may fool men. You will never fool the metal. That's all."
- ―The most important lesson for an engineer[src]
Leo was quiet and plain-spoken, with a passion for integrity in his students and himself. He could organize complex projects effectively, and knew exactly where they might run into troubles so as to head them off.
Over the course of the tale of Falling Free, he and the quaddie Silver fell in love.
Leo Graf was memorialized by the quaddies in several ways. Their first station was named Graf Station, and he was given a starring role in the zero-gee ballet "The Crossing" by Aljean.
Behind the Scenes
Leo Graf is at least partly modeled on Lois McMaster Bujold's father, Robert McMaster.