William Fitts Ryan

William Fitts Ryan

William Fitts Ryan

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William Fitts Ryan (June 28, 1922 – September 17, 1972) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as a representative from New York in the United States House of Representatives from 1961 until his death in 1972. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life

Ryan was born in Albion, New York. He attended Albion public schools for his elementary and secondary education, and graduated 1940 from the Woodberry Forest School in Virginia.

Education and military service

Ryan entered Princeton University as member of Class of 1944. From 1943 to 1946 during World War II, he served in the United States Army in the South Pacific, as an artillery lieutenant in the Thirty-second Infantry Division. He graduated from Princeton University in 1947, and two years later, in 1949, he graduated from Columbia Law School. That same year, 1949, he was admitted to the bar and began his practice.

Professional and legislative career

Ryan served as assistant district attorney in New York County from 1950 until 1957 and then again from 1957 until 1961. In 1961, he was elected to Congress as a Democrat, representing Manhattan's Upper West Side, and was elected five more times.

Ryan was an early opponent of American involvement in the Vietnam War, being the first member of the U.S. House to speak out against the War; and was active in supporting civil rights. At the 1968 Democratic National Convention, he was chosen as a delegate from New York.

Congressman Ryan championed the creation...
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