Leo W. O'Brien

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For Wisconsin politician, see Leo P. O'Brien.
Leo W. O'Brien, Congressman from New York

Leo William O'Brien (September 21, 1900 – May 4, 1982) was a Democratic member of the United States House of Representatives from New York.[1]

Biography[edit]

Nicknamed "Obie," O'Brien was born in Buffalo, New York. He graduated from Niagara University in 1922. O'Brien worked as a newspaper journalist for the International News Service, and Albany Knickerbocker Press and Times-Union. He later became a radio and television commentator. From 1935 to 1952 he was a member of the Port of Albany District Commission.[1]

In 1952 he was the successful Democratic nominee for the United States House of Representatives seat left vacant by the death of William T. Byrne. He was reelected seven times and served from April 1, 1952 until resigning on December 30, 1966, a few days before the end of his final term. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1966 and returned to the Albany area.

As a member of the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, O'Brien was a leading advocate for Alaska and Hawaii statehood. He also helped create the Fire Island National Seashore, and strongly advocated cleanup of the Hudson River and protecting it as a scenic waterway.

After leaving Congress O'Brien served as Chairman of the Albany County Planning Board and the Adirondack Study Commission.

He died at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany, New York on May 4, 1982.[1] He was buried in St. Agnes Cemetery.

Legacy[edit]

The United States federal building in Albany, New York is named after him.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Walter H. Waggoner (May 5, 1982). "Leo W. O'Brien, 81, is Dead; Former Albany Congressman". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-07-30. Leo W. O'Brien, an Albany Democrat who served in the House of Representatives from 1952 until his retirement in 1966, died of a heart ailment yesterday at St. Peter's Hospital in Albany. He was 81 years old. ... 

Further reading[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
William T. Byrne
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 32nd congressional district

1952–1953
Succeeded by
Bernard W. Kearney
Preceded by
J. Ernest Wharton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 30th congressional district

1953–1963
Succeeded by
Carleton J. King
Preceded by
J. Ernest Wharton
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 29th congressional district

1963–1966
Succeeded by
Daniel E. Button