Alfred Crocker Leighton was born in 1901 in Hastings, Sussex, England. He studied architecture at The Bradssey Institute, Hasting’s Municipal School of Art.
In 1924 Leighton and a partner constructed a working scale model of the port of Liverpool. Their model impressed the executives of the Canadian Pacific Company and they employed him. He traveled from Banff sketching the Canadian scenery along the way.
In 1927 and 1929 Leighton made trips back to Canada to continue sketching. By this time he was the youngest full member admitted to the Royal Society of British Artists.
His paintings realistic in nature, depict the beautiful Candian landscapes Leighton traveled to, as well as the many places he lived.
In 1929, he moved to Calgary to become the art director at the Art Institute of Calgary. Shortly after, in 1931 Leighton formed the Alberta Society of Artists and was the first president.
In 1932 he taught the Summer Art School at the University of Alberta and in 1933 he initiated a summer art school near Banff. Eventually the summer art school led to the established Banff School of Fine Art.
In 1938 Leighton retired and moved his family to Chilliwack, British Columbia. In the 1950's they moved to England for a coupole years, then headed back to Calgary. In Calgary the family bought land to build a house, many of his paintings depict the area where they settled.
He died at the General Hospital in Calgary in 1965.
His work is part of both private and public collections.
In 1974 Barbara, Leightons wife and artist ehrself, opened the Leighton Centre.