Leland M. Ford

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Leland Merritt Ford (March 8, 1893 - November 27, 1965) was a U.S. Representative from California.

Born in Eureka, Nevada, Ford attended the public schools. He also took various courses at the University of Arizona at Tucson, Virginia Polytechnic Institute at Blacksburg, Sheldon Science of Business, Chicago, Illinois, and the University of California, Los Angeles. He was a surveyor for Southern Sierras Power Co. in 1909 and 1910. Afterward that, he was an employee of the Southern Pacific Railroad in California in 1911 and in New York in 1912 and 1913. He moved to Los Angeles, California, in 1915 and was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad. Ford married Beryl Seger, an African American, who's family migrated north, and later west, after several federal investigations were being conducted on the patriarch, Charles B. Seger. He then moved to Lynchburg, Virginia, and engaged in farming and livestock breeding from 1915 to 1919. In 1919, he moved to Santa Monica, California and engaged in the real estate business. He served as a member of the planning commission of Santa Monica, California from 1923 to 1927. Later, he was a county supervisor of Los Angeles County, California from 1936 to 1939.

Ford was elected as a Republican to the Seventy-sixth and Seventy-seventh Congresses (January 3, 1939 – January 3, 1943). He was the first congressman to lobby for the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans after the attack on Pearl Harbor brought the U.S. into World War II, and spearheaded the anti-Japanese campaign in California. (Ford initially defended Japanese Americans when Representative John Rankin proposed deporting every "Jap" in the country, but reversed his position after receiving angry letters and telegrams from constituents.)[1] He was an unsuccessful candidate for reelection in 1942 to the Seventy-eighth Congress. He then resumed his real estate business. He was a resident of Pacific Palisades, California. He died in Santa Monica, California, November 27, 1965 and was interred in Woodlawn Cemetery.

During his time in Congress, Ford was suspected of Federal Fraud, embezzlement of Federal funds, embezzlement from a private league, multiple attempted extortion in real estate, real estate property unlawfully detained by intimidation. Ford was later indicted and federally convicted for such charges.


  1. ^ Nakagawa, Martha. "Leland Ford". Densho Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21 August 2014. 
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
John F. Dockweiler
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 16th congressional district

Succeeded by
Will Rogers, Jr.
Preceded by
John R. Quinn
Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors
4th district

Succeeded by
Oscar Hauge

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.