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Leo W. O'Brien

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leo W. O'Brien
Leo W. O'Brien.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 32nd district
In office
April 1, 1952 – January 3, 1953
Preceded byWilliam T. Byrne
Succeeded byBernard W. Kearney
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 30th district
In office
January 3, 1953 – January 3, 1963
Preceded byJ. Ernest Wharton
Succeeded byCarleton J. King
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York's 29th district
In office
January 3, 1963 – December 30, 1966
Preceded byJ. Ernest Wharton
Succeeded byDaniel E. Button
Personal details
Born(1900-09-21)September 21, 1900
Buffalo, New York
DiedMay 4, 1982(1982-05-04) (aged 81)
Albany, New York
Resting placeSt. Agnes Cemetery, Menands, New York
Spouse(s)Mabel C. Jean (m. 1925)
Alma materNiagara University
ProfessionNewspaper reporter
Radio and television commentator

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]

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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. In recognition of his efforts, in 1964 the State of Alaska named Mount Terrance, a mountain near Haines, Alaska after O'Brien's then 10-year-old grandson.[2]

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 at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.[3]


In 1925, O'Brien married to Mabel C. Jean. They were the parents of two children, Robert and Mary.[4]


The United States federal building in Albany, New York is named after him. It is located at the corner of Clinton Avenue and North Pearl Street, and contains facilities including a Military Entrance Processing Station (MEPS).[5]


  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.
  2. ^ "Alaska Mountain Named". New York Times. New York, NY. July 15, 1964.
  3. ^ Leo W. O'Brien at Find a Grave
  4. ^ The New York Red Book. 65. Albany, NY: Williams Press. 1956. p. 893.
  5. ^ "Albany Military Entrance Processing Station". MEPS Information. United States Military Entrance Processing Command. Retrieved November 2, 2015.

Further reading

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

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

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

Succeeded by
Daniel E. Button
This page was last edited on 9 May 2019, at 12:06
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