User:Hutcher/Larry McDonald

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Lawrence Patton McDonald
Larry McDonald.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th district
In office
Preceded by John W. Davis
Succeeded by George Darden
Personal details
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Kathryn (Johnson) McDonald
Profession Physician

Lawrence Patton McDonald (April 1 1935September 1 1983) was a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing the seventh congressional district of Georgia. Larry, a cousin of WWII hero General George S. Patton, was a vehement anti-communist and anti-globalist. He was a passenger onboard Korean Air Flight 007 shot down by Soviet intercepters.

Early life and career[edit]

Larry McDonald was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, more specifically in the eastern part of the city that is in DeKalb County. He graduated from Davidson College in 1954, Emory University School of Medicine in 1957 and trained at Grady Memorial Hospital as an urologist. From 1959 to 1961 he served as a Flight Surgeon in the US Navy stationed at the Keflavík naval base in Iceland. After his tour of service he practiced medicine at the McDonald Urology Clinic in Atlanta. McDonald made one unsuccessful run for Congress in 1972 before being elected in 1974. While in Congress, he became the President of the John Birch Society, a conservative organization, and founded the Western Goals Foundation. McDonald served as a member on the Georgia State Medical Education Board, the National Historical Society and the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce and received numerous civil honors.

Political Career[edit]

In the elections held in November 1974 Larry McDonald was elected to the Ninety-fourth Congress of the United States of America as a member of the Democratic Party. He served as Congressman in seventh district of Georgia, which included most of Atlanta's northwestern suburbs (including Marietta). He was re-elected four times and served from January 3, 1975, until his disappearance, on September 1, 1983.

Larry McDonald was known for his conservative views, even by Southern standards. In fact, one study named him the second most right-wing member of either chamber since 1937. [1] His anti-communist fervor was probably second only to that of Sen. Joseph McCarthy. He took the communist threat seriously and considered it an international conspiracy. Such a view was later echoed in the words of President Ronald Reagan who called the Soviet Union an "Evil Empire". McDonald may be viewed as a precursor of the Reagan supply-side (market liberalization) revolution that swept through the country in the 1980s. An admirer of Austrian economics, he was an advocate of tight monetary policy in the late 1970s to get the economy out of "stagflation" - a mixture of low growth and high inflation. He was also a passionate advocate of laissez-faire or market based policies.

His staunch conservative views on social issues attracted controversy. For instance, McDonald is noted for using amendments to stop government aid to homosexuals. Hustler magazine purported to have photographs of McDonald with a mistress[2]. He also advocated the use of a non-approved drug Laetrile to treat patients in advanced stages of cancer.

In 1979 with John Rees and Major General John K. Singlaub McDonald founded the Western Goals Foundation. It was intended to combat the threat of Communism. In 1980 Larry McDonald introduced American Legion National Convention Resolution 773 to the House of Representatives calling for a comprehensive congressional investigation into the Council Of Foreign Relations and Trilateral Commission[3].

Larry was considering a run for the US Presidency as a Democrat[4].

KAL 007[edit]

McDonald was invited to South Korea to attend a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United States-South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty with fellow Congressmen Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Senator Steven Symms of Idaho and Representative Carroll J. Hubbard Jr. of Kentucky[5][6]. Due to bad weather on Sunday, August 28, 1983 McDonald's flight from Atlanta was diverted to Baltimore and when he finally arrived at JFK Airport in New York he had missed his connection to South Korea by two to three minutes[7]. McDonald could have boarded a Pan American World Airways flight to Seoul, but he preferred the lower fares of Korean Air Lines and chose to wait for the next KAL flight two days later[7]. Carroll Hubbard planned to join McDonald on the flight but at the last minute he canceled his reservations to accept a Kentucky speaking engagement. [8]

McDonald occupied an aisle seat, 02B in the first class section, when KAL 007 took off on August 31 at 12:24 a.m. local time, on a 3,400 mile trip to Anchorage, Alaska for a scheduled stopover seven hours later.[7] The plane remained on the ground for an hour and a half during which it was refueled, reprovisioned, cleaned and serviced.[7] The passengers were given the option of leaving the aircraft but McDonald remained on the plane, catching up on his sleep. Jesse Helms invited McDonald to move onto his flight KAL 015 but McDonald did not wish to be disturbed[9]. With a fresh flight crew, KAL 007 took off at 4 a.m. local time for it's scheduled non-stop flight over the Pacific to Seoul's Kimpo International Airport, a nearly 4,500 mile stretch that would take approximately eight hours. [7]

On September 1, 1983, Larry McDonald went missing when Soviet fighters shot down KAL 007 after the plane entered Soviet airspace. McDonald was the only U.S. congressman ever killed by the Soviets during the Cold War. A few hours after the shootdown, media reported that KAL 007 had landed safely on Sakhalin Island. Larry McDonald's press aid, Tommy Toles, was informed by the U.S. Embassy in Korea, relaying the report from the Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that "the plane had landed safely in Korea". In addition, the Washington based Federal Aviation Administration informed McDonald's press aid that their Japanese counterpart organization , the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau had informed them that KAL 007 had made a safe landing on Sakhalin and "it is confirmed by the Manifest that Congressman McDonald is on board". Within a few short hours, this had been broadcast by the media, only to have, within another few short hours, the media broadcasting that all passengers and crew had perished in an explosion over the waters off Sakhalin and subsequent crash in the sea.

After McDonald's death, a special election was held to fill his seat in Congress. McDonald's widow, Kathy, was a candidate, but she lost to George "Buddy" Darden. Much of the congressional district McDonald represented would later be represented by Newt Gingrich.


On March 18, 1998, the Georgia House of Representatives, "as an expression of gratitude for his able service to his country and defense of the US Constitution", passed a resolution naming the portion of Interstate Highway 75, which runs from the Chattahoochee River northward to the Tennessee state line in his honor, the Larry McDonald Memorial Highway.

Quotations about Larry McDonald[edit]

Quotations by Larry McDonald[edit]

  • "We have four boxes with which to defend our freedom: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box, and the cartridge box." - Jim Poz quote repository.
  • "The drive of the Rockefellers and their allies is to create a one-world government combining supercapitalism and communism under the same tent, all under their control...Do I mean conspiracy? Yes I do. I am convinced there is such a plot, international in scope, generations old in planning, and incredibly evil in intent."

Books by Larry McDonald[edit]

  • Lawrence Patton McDonald, 1976, "We Hold These Truths: a reverent review of the U.S. Constitution," '76 Press, Seal Beach, California. ISBN 0-89245-005-3.
  • Rep. Lawrence Patton McDonald, 1977, "Trotskyism and Terror: The Strategy of Revolution," ACU Education and Research Institute, Washington, DC.

External links[edit]


Preceded by
John W. Davis
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Georgia's 7th congressional district

January 3, 1975 - September 1, 1983
Succeeded by
George Darden