Leslie Rankow graduated from the Brearley School and Sarah Lawrence College. She attended Yale's School of Art and Architecture and continued her graduate studies in Art History at New York University. Her first business endeavor was Leslie Rankow Gallery representing emerging contemporary artists and an artist's collective called Goldsmith's Hall in honor of the medieval guild in London. She then moved to Europe as International Director of Artinews. Leslie established both advertising and editorial representation throughout Europe and over a period of five years, Artinews published issues dedicated to contemporary art in England, France, Spain, Belgium and Italy. Upon her return to the States, she established Leslie Rankow Fine Arts, an international art advisory service specializing in contemporary and post-war art and American modernism for both the nascent and established collector.