Leopold Mozart was born on November 14, 1719 in Augsburg (today Germany), the son of a bookbinder. He studied theology at Salzburg University, but was more interested in music, becoming violinist and valet to one of the university's canons, Count Thurn und Taxis, in 1740. In 1747 he married Anna Maria Pertl, who bore him seven children, although only two of them survived, Maria Anna Wallburga Ignatia (called "Nannerl") and Wolfgang Amadeus. In 1756, the same year as Wolfgang Amadeus' birth, Leopold wrote his Versuch einer gründlichen Violinschule, a comprehensive treatise on violin playing. Today it is one of the main sources on performance practice in the 18th century, along with Johann Joachim Quantz's Versuch einer Anweisung die Flöte traversière zu spielen (on flute playing) and Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach's Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen (on keyboard playing).
Leopold Mozart died on May 28, 1787, in Salzburg, today Austria.