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Sam L. Collins

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Sam L. Collins
50th Speaker of the California State Assembly
In office
January 6, 1947 – August 13, 1952
Preceded byCharles W. Lyon
Succeeded byJames W. Silliman
Member of the California State Assembly
from the 75th district
In office
January 6, 1941 – January 5, 1953
Preceded byThomas Kuchel
Succeeded byLeRoy E. Lyon Jr.
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 19th district
In office
March 4, 1933 – January 3, 1937
Preceded bydistrict created
Succeeded byHarry R. Sheppard
District Attorney of Orange County
In office
Personal details
Samuel LaFort Collins

(1895-08-06)August 6, 1895
Fortville, Indiana
DiedJune 26, 1965(1965-06-26) (aged 69)
Fullerton, California
Resting placeLoma Vista Memorial Park, Fullerton, California
Political partyRepublican
Military service
AllegianceUnited States
Branch/service United States Army and California National Guard
Battles/warsWorld War I
Pancho Villa Expedition

Samuel LaFort Collins (August 6, 1895 – June 26, 1965) was an American lawyer, World War I veteran, and Republican politician who served in various offices from California in the early 20th century.

Early life and education[edit]

Collins was born in Fortville, Indiana, attended public schools in Indiana and California, and graduated from Chaffey Union High School, Ontario, California, in 1915.[1]

He served as a private in the Hospital Corps, Seventh Infantry, California National Guard on the Mexican border in 1916.

World War I service[edit]

From 1917 to 1919, he served in the United States Army overseas as a sergeant in Co. C, 364th Infantry, 91st Division. After discharge from the Army, Collins studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1921, and practiced in Fullerton, California.

Legal career[edit]

Collins as a Congressman.

He was assistant district attorney of Orange County, California, 1926–1930 and district attorney 1930–1932.

Political career[edit]

In 1932 Collins was elected to the 73rd Congress, and reelected, serving during 1933–1937. He lost his bid for reelection to a third term in 1936.

Collins served as member of the California State Assembly for the 75th district from 1941 to 1953,[2] serving as speaker 1947–1952. Collins was the longest-serving Speaker in California history until the record was broken by Jesse M. Unruh, who was speaker from 1961 to 1969. Collins is the fifth-longest-serving Speaker behind Leo T. McCarthy (1974–1980), Anthony Rendon (2016-2023), Unruh, and Willie Brown (1980–1995). Collins is the longest-serving Republican Speaker.

After serving in the Assembly, he resumed the practice of law.


Collins died at the age of 69 in Fullerton and is buried at Loma Vista Memorial Park.

Electoral history[edit]

1932 United States House of Representatives elections[3]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sam L. Collins 56,889 51.0
Democratic B. Z. McKinney 51,796 46.4
Liberty Horatio S. Hoard 2,873 2.6
Total votes 111,558 100.0
Republican win (new seat)
1934 United States House of Representatives elections[4]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sam L. Collins (Incumbent) 97,119 88.8
No party A. B. Hillabold (write-in) 12,301 11.2
Total votes 109,420 100.0
Republican hold


  1. ^ Bioguide, Search (April 13, 2024). "COLLINS, Samuel LaFort". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  2. ^ "Join California – Sam L. Collins". joincalifornia.com.
  3. ^ 1932 election results
  4. ^ 1934 election results

External links[edit]

U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
District created
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from California's 19th congressional district

March 3, 1933 – January 3, 1937
Succeeded by
California Assembly
Preceded by California State Assemblyman, 75th District
January 6, 1941 – January 5, 1953
Succeeded by
LeRoy E. Lyon Jr.
Political offices
Preceded by Speaker of the California State Assembly
January 1947 – August 1952
Succeeded by