Leslie J. Sorenson, the fifth President of the Institute of Transportation Engineers, was born at Rhinelander, Wisconsin in December, 1892. Mr. Sorenson served at two year term as President of the Institute, 1937 to 1939, and was the first President elected who was not also a Founder and a Charter Member of ITE. He was Institute Vice President, 1936-1937.
Mr. Sorenson attended the University of Wisconsin and then moved on to Chicago where for 11 years he was superintendent of the Sign and Signal Shop. He then became the Traffic Engineer of the City of Chicago. At the time of his retirement in 1961 he was the Deputy Commissioner of Streets and Sanitation. In all his employment with the City of Chicago spanned 47 years.
Mr. Sorenson served under eight Chicago mayors in all. In 1915 he conducted the city's first traffic survey which indicated that a relief bridge was needed. He was co-editor of ITE's Traffic Engineering Handbook. He was also Vice President of the National Safety Council and President of the Greater Chicago Safety Council.
After leaving the city he spent several years in consulting work. Many progressive signal systems were installed in the Chicago area under his direction. He was long active in the National Joint Commission on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.