The visitors made a good start to the game and had an early chance through Vurnon Anita.
Jonjo Shelvey played a corner to him on the edge of the box, but the midfielder saw his effort deflect wide.
Newcastle then tried to catch Leeds out with a quick free-kick, Gayle went through on goal, but he was denied by a super save from Rob Green.
In the 11th minute of the match both sets of supporters stood together in a minute’s applause to remember a legend of both clubs in Gary Speed.
Matt Ritchie was next to go close for the Magpies, his deflected effort forced Green into another save.
Newcastle took the lead in the 23rd minute, Jack Colback tried an audacious lob from range and goalkeeper Green could only direct his save into the path of Gayle who slotted home from inside the six yard area.
Chris Wood went close with a header three minutes later, however he was unable to guide his effort on target.
Leeds then had an opportunity at a free-kick, Kalvin Phillips put the cross in and found Wood, his header looped in the air and Luke Ayling headed at goal and he was only denied by a fantastic save from Karl Darlow.
Garry Monk’s side pressed for an equaliser before the break with three consecutive corners and despite a claim for handball, Leeds were unable to breakthrough.
Pontus Jansson picked up his fifth yellow card of the season for his protests in the incident, meaning he will miss next week’s trip to Rotherham United.
Half Time: Leeds United 0-1 Newcastle United
After the break Leeds had a great chance to level through Eunan O’Kane, the Irishman turned brilliantly in the Newcastle area, before firing low, but Darlow made another fine save to keep the Magpies in front.
Newcastle doubled their lead in the 54th minute, Anita played a neat low ball across the face of goal and Gayle slotted home his second of the afternoon.
Ayling went close to pulling a goal back for Leeds, his effort from just inside the box, deflected over the crossbar.
Souleymane Doukara had a good opportunity in the 73rd minute, Kemar Roofe put a good cross in for the striker who forced Darlow into action once again.
Wood then had an opportunity late on when he charged down a Darlow kick, but he didn’t get the bounce of the ball required and the ball went out for a goal kick.
The result sees Garry Monk’s side drop one place to seventh in the table, with Newcastle five points clear at the top.
Full Time: Leeds United 0-2 Newcastle United
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Jansson, Bartley, Taylor, Phillips, O’Kane, Roofe, Vieira (Sacko 62), Doukara (Antonsson 78), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Cooper, Dallas, Grimes, Berardi.
Newcastle: Darlow, Clark, Dummett, Colback (Hayden 83), Lascelles, Anita, Gayle (Mitrovic 79), Ritchie, Shelvey, Perez, Gouffran (Diame 76). Subs not used: Mbemba, Yedlin, Sels, Atsu.
Booked: Jansson (Leeds), Colback (Newcastle)
Referee: G. Scott
Venue: Elland Road