Actress: Amy Poehler
Birthdate: January 18, 1975
Hometown: Pawnee, Indiana (though she was born in neighboring Eagleton, Indiana)
Occupation: Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation
Leslie Knope is the ambitious Deputy Director of Parks and Recreation in the city of Pawnee, Indiana and a candidate for city council.
Leslie is a career bureaucrat who fights passionately on behalf of the citizens of Pawnee. She made her first campaign ad when she was 10 years old. She’s serious about making the city of Pawnee, already the greatest city in the world in her mind, even better.
Her mother, Marlene Griggs-Knope, who also works in the local government dealing with the county school system and recipient of the Anthony Tellenson Award for excellence in Pawnee Public Service. Marlene plays a much more ruthless game of politics than Leslie and Leslie found that out the night of the Tellenson awards when her mother encouraged her to blackmail a local politician. The virtuous Leslie briefly considered it, but opted against it.
Given her intense passion for politics, Leslie has had a difficult relationship history.
On dates, each of the following things have happend to her: a man has shown up with another woman, one of her sleeves has caught on fire and spread rapidly, instead of Tic-Tacs she has taken Ambien, forcing her to keep punching her leg to stay awake. Additionally on dates she has drank an entire bottle of vinegar that she thought was terrible wine, went out with a guy who wore 3D glasses the entire evening, had the sidecar she was riding it detach from her date’s motorcycle and go down a flight of stairs, had her date attempt to pull out of one her teeth during a really boring movie. She literally woke up with his hand in her mouth.
Leslie once slept with city planner Mark Brandanawicz. To say the least, she had a hard time getting over that. She once admitted that after sleeping with Mark one time, she took five years to get over it.
She had a brief but successful relationship with local police officer Dave Sanderson before he moved to San Diego due to a commitment to the United States Army Reserve. Leslie briefly considered leaving Pawnee to be with him thanks to a scandal she was unfairly involved in at the time, but she eventually declined. Dave would return two years later to attend a party for the retiring Pawnee police chief and profess his love for Leslie once again at an awkward dinner with both Leslie and Ben Wyatt, her new boyfriend. Leslie explained to Dave that she loved Ben and if Dave returned, it would only be as a friend.
After Dave’s initial departure, Leslie quickly moved on to a friend of her best friend Ann Perkins, Justin Anderson. Justin was a civil litigation attorney based out of Indianapolis who went to high school with Ann. Leslie and Justin quickly gelled, but his penchant for only exploring the exciting parts of people’s lives and inattention to feelings quickly turned Leslie off.
Leslie’s current boyfriend, Ben Wyatt, came to Pawnee as a state auditor. While working to fix budget problems he and Leslie quickly developed chemistry despite rules in place to prevent their relationship. Ben eventually stepped out of his position as assistant city manager to Chris Traeger and after a brief period of unemployment, now manages Leslie’s city council campaign.
Before getting her first subcommittee with the Parks and Recreation Department, Leslie worked there for six years. Her persistence paid off. She quickly advanced from bumbling Deputy Director of the Parks to common council candidate. Leslie is currently running for a spot on the common council against Bobby Newport, heir to the Newport Family throne.
Leslie has high aspirations. She’s at separate times considered the Pawnee city manager position, has mentioned becoming mayor of Pawnee and frequently daydreams about becoming the first female president.