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Leo J. Ryan


Picture of Leo J. Ryan
CA Blue Book
Date Party Office Votes Result
11-04-1958 Democratic AD-25 35880 Loss
11-06-1962 Democratic AD-27 46448 Win
11-03-1964 Democratic AD-27 65917 Win
11-08-1966 Democratic AD-27 50236 Win
11-05-1968 Democratic AD-27 87805 Win
11-03-1970 Democratic AD-27 66323 Win
11-07-1972 Democratic CD-11 114134 Win
11-05-1974 Democratic CD-11 106429 Win
11-02-1976 Democratic CD-11 107618 Win
11-07-1978 Democratic CD-11 92882 Win

Candidate Biography:

Leo Joseph Ryan, Jr.
Born: May 5, 1925 in Lincoln, Nebraska
Married: Margaret Ryan (m. 1941, d. 1971), Peg
Child: Erin*, Shannon (Jasmine), Patricia*, Christopher, and Kevin
Military Service: USN (WWII)
Killed: November 18, 1978 at the Port Kaituma airstrip near Jonestown, Guyana

1956-1962: Member, South San Francisco City Council
1962: Mayor, City of South San Francisco
1964: Delegate, Democratic National Convention
1966: Opponent, Proposition 1A (which created a fulltime legislature)
1968: Delegate, Democratic National Convention

  • As an Assemblyman, Leo Ryan proposed the design for the California State Assembly seal that was adopted and is now used.  
  • Congressman Ryan visited the Jonestown compound to investigate reports that some members of the People's Temple had been abused by its leader, Jim Jones. During his visit to Jonestown, a cult-member attempted to attack Ryan with a knife. Ryan's group left Jonestown for a nearby airport, where it was attacked by members of the temple. Five people (including Ryan) were killed and nine were injured (including Congressional Aide Jackie Speier).
  • Family Public Service: From 2002-2006, Erin Ryan worked as a aide to State Sen. Jackie Speier. She currently works (2008-Present) as Legislative Counsel for Congresswoman Speier. Patricia Ryan previously served as the Executive Director of the California Mental Health Directors Association.
  • PLACENAME: The Leo J. Ryan Memorial Federal Building is located in San Bruno. (Home of the National Archives and Records Administration, Pacific Region). Leo J. Ryan Park is a city park located in Foster City. The main post office in San Mateo is named the Leo J. Ryan Post office on the 30th Anniversary of the Jonestown massacre.
  • LEGISLATION: Author of the Hughes–Ryan Act (1974), a federal law which "required the President of the United States to report all covert operations of the Central Intelligence Agency to one or more Congressional committees within a set time limit."

Source: California Blue Book (1963), (1967), (1971)
Source: Understanding California Government and Politics by Leo J. Ryan (Fearon Publishers, 1966)
Source: "Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-Present" (U.S. Library of Congress) []