Leo Ryan

Leo Ryan
Leo Ryan
Ryan c. 1977–1978
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 11th district
In office
January 3, 1973 – November 18, 1978
Preceded byPete McCloskey
Succeeded byWilliam Royer
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 27th district
In office
Preceded byGlenn E. Coolidge
Succeeded byLou Papan
Mayor of South San Francisco, California
Personal details
Leo Joseph Ryan Jr.

(1925-05-05)May 5, 1925
Lincoln, Nebraska, US
DiedNovember 18, 1978(1978-11-18) (aged 53)
Port Kaituma, Guyana
Resting placeGolden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materBates College (V-12)
Creighton University (B.A.)(M.S.)
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Branch/service United States Navy
Years of service1943–1946

Leo Joseph Ryan Jr. (May 5, 1925 – November 18, 1978) was an American teacher and politician. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the U.S. Representative from California's 11th congressional district from 1973 until his assassination as part of the Jonestown massacre in 1978.

After the Watts Riots of 1965, Assemblyman Ryan took a job as a substitute school teacher to investigate and document conditions in the area. In 1970, he decided to investigate the conditions of California prisons. While presiding as chairman of the Assembly committee that oversaw prison reform, he used a pseudonym to enter Folsom Prison as an inmate. During his time in Congress, Ryan traveled to Newfoundland to investigate the practice of seal hunting. He was also famous for vocal criticism of the lack of Congressional oversight of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and authored the Hughes–Ryan Amendment, passed in 1974.

Ryan was shot and killed at an airstrip in Guyana in November 1978 while his party was attempting to escape a dangerous situation. He had traveled to Guyana to investigate claims that people were being held against their will at the Peoples Temple Jonestown settlement. Ryan was killed the same day of the mass suicide, which occurred just 11 days after he was re-elected for a fourth term. He was the second sitting member of the U.S. House of Representatives to have been assassinated in office, the first being James M. Hinds in 1868.[1][2] He was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously in 1983.

Early life and education

Ryan was born in Lincoln, Nebraska.[3] Throughout his early life, his family moved frequently through Illinois, Florida, New York, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts. He graduated from Campion Jesuit High School in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin, in 1943.[4][5] He then received V-12 officer training at Bates College and served with the United States Navy from 1943 to 1946 as a submariner.[6]

Ryan graduated from Nebraska's Creighton University with a B.A. in 1949 and an M.S. in 1951.[3] He served as a teacher, school administrator and South San Francisco city councilman from 1956 to 1962. He taught English at Capuchino High School, and chaperoned the marching band in 1961 to Washington, D.C., to participate in President John F. Kennedy's inaugural parade.[7] Ryan was inspired by Kennedy's call to service in his inaugural address, and decided to run for higher office.[8]

Other Languages
العربية: ليو رايان
Deutsch: Leo J. Ryan
español: Leo Ryan
فارسی: لئو رایان
français: Leo Ryan
Frysk: Leo Ryan
italiano: Leo Ryan
Nederlands: Leo Ryan
norsk: Leo Ryan
polski: Leo Ryan
português: Leo Ryan
română: Leo Ryan
slovenščina: Leo Ryan
suomi: Leo Ryan
svenska: Leo Ryan