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Statement on the Death of Representative Leo J. Ryan

November 19, 1978

I am saddened by the death of Congressman Leo J. Ryan, an educator who went on to a 22-year career of public service at the local, State, and national levels.

His concern for environmental values led him to the chairmanship of the Government Operations Subcommittee on Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources, where he became an authority on the problems of nuclear waste disposal.

Congressman Ryan had taught in the Watts ghetto to gain an understanding of educational issues in the slums and once spent a week as a voluntary prisoner to examine penitentiary conditions. It was this drive to get his information at first hand that led to his tragic death.

Rosalynn and I join his family and his constituents in their shock and grief.

Note: Congressman Ryan was killed on November 18 by members of the People's Temple, a religious cult, during his investigation of the People's Temple commune in Jonestown, Guyana.

Jimmy Carter, Statement on the Death of Representative Leo J. Ryan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244296

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