Because he was so shy of publicity, little is known about J. J. Leahy. He was called by some the back-country baron, one of Australia’s most important early pastoralists. With a limited education and no money, he went on to build up a large pastoral empire. He owned or leased over one hundred extensive properties, and at one time, his wool clip was said to be the largest in Australia. He also ran sixty thousand head of cattle on these properties. His numerous big deals became legendary. His bank never required a mortgage over his assets to finance his big stock deals. All he needed to do was call his bank manager to let him know he was writing a checque to cover his latest deal. He travelled first by horse-drawn vehicles and then cars and finally was a pioneer in the use of aircraft to cover his area of interest, starting with a converted WWI Bristol fighter. At times he controlled one hundred thousand sheep walking on stock routes, besides those run on his large properties. On his travels, he often bought a large mob of sheep with a handshake. He was offered but refused a knighthood.