278,253 Pages

Larry McDonald
Member of the United States House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 1975 – September 1, 1983
Preceded by John Davis
Succeeded by George Darden
Personal details
Born Lawrence Patton McDonald
(1935-04-01)April 1, 1935
Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Died September 1, 1983(1983-09-01) (aged 48)
near Sakhalin, Soviet Union
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anna Tryggvadottir (Divorced)
Kathryn Jackson (1975–1983)
Children 5
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1959–1961

Lawrence Patton McDonald (April 1, 1935 – September 1, 1983) was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Georgia's 7th congressional district as a Democrat from 1975 until he was killed while a passenger on board Korean Air Lines Flight 007 when it was shot down by Soviet interceptors. A conservative Democrat, McDonald was active in numerous civic organizations and maintained one of the most conservative voting records in Congress. He was known for his staunch opposition to communism. He was the second president of the John Birch Society.[1]

Early life and career[edit | edit source]

Larry McDonald was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, more specifically in the eastern part of the city that is in DeKalb County. General George S. Patton was a distant relation.[2] As a child, he attended several private and parochial schools before attending a non-denominational high school. He spent two years at high school before graduating in 1951.[1][3] He studied at Davidson College from 1951–53, spending time studying history. He entered the Emory University School of Medicine at the age of 17, graduating in 1957.[1][3] He interned at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. He trained as a urologist at the University of Michigan Hospital under Prof. Reed M. Nesbit. Following completion in 1966 he returned to Atlanta and entered practice with his father.[citation needed]

From 1959 to 1961, he served as a flight surgeon in the United States Navy stationed at the Keflavík naval base in Iceland. McDonald married an Icelandic national, Anna Tryggvadottir, with whom he would eventually have three children: Tryggvi Paul, Callie Grace, and Mary Elizabeth.[1] It was in Iceland that McDonald first began to take note of communism. He felt the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavik was doing things advantageous to the Communists; therefore he went to his commanding officer, but was told he did not understand the big picture.[1]

After his tour of service he practiced medicine at the McDonald Urology Clinic in Atlanta. He took an increasing interest in politics, reading books on political history and foreign policy.[1] He joined the John Birch Society—a conservative, anti-communist organization — in 1966 or 1967.[4] His passionate preoccupation with politics led to a divorce from his first wife.[1] McDonald made one unsuccessful run for Congress in 1972 before being elected in 1974. In 1975, he married Kathryn Jackson, whom he met while giving a speech in California.[1] McDonald served as a member on the Georgia State Medical Education Board and as chairman from 1969 to 1974[3]).

Political career[edit | edit source]

In 1974, McDonald ran for Congress against incumbent John W. Davis in the Democratic primary as a conservative who was opposed to mandatory federal school integration programs. McDonald criticized Davis for being one of only two Georgia congressmen to vote in favor of school busing. He also attacked Davis for receiving thousands of dollars in political donations from out-of-state groups which he said favored mandatory federal programs that used busing to achieve school integration.[5]

McDonald won the primary election in a surprise upset and was elected in November 1974 to the 94th United States Congress, serving Georgia's 7th congressional district, which included most of Atlanta's northwestern suburbs (including Marietta), where opposition to school busing was especially high. However, during the general election, J. Quincy Collins Jr., an Air Force prisoner of war during the Vietnam War, running as a Republican, nearly defeated him, despite the poor performance of Republicans nationally that year due to the aftereffects of the Watergate scandal. McDonald, though, was re-elected four times with wide margins (including a 1976 rematch with Collins) and served from January 3, 1975 until his death on September 1, 1983.[citation needed] McDonald, who considered himself a traditional Democrat "cut from the cloth of Jefferson and Jackson", was known for his conservative views, even by Southern standards. In fact, one scoring method published in the American Journal of Political Science[6] named him the second most conservative member of either chamber of Congress between 1937 and 2002 (behind only Ron Paul).[7] The American Conservative Union gave him a perfect score of 100 every year he was in the House of Representatives, except in 1978, when he scored a 95.[8] He also scored "perfect or near perfect ratings" on the congressional scorecards of the National Right to Life Committee, Gun Owners of America, and the American Security Council.[9] McDonald was referred to by The New American as "the leading anti-Communist in Congress".[9] McDonald admired Senator Joseph McCarthy[10] and was a member of the Joseph McCarthy Foundation. He took the communist threat seriously and considered it an international conspiracy. An admirer of Austrian economics and a member of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, he was an advocate of tight monetary policy in the late 1970s to get the economy out of stagflation, and advocated returning to the gold standard.[11] McDonald called the welfare state a "disaster"[12] and favored phasing control of the Great Society programs over to the states to operate and run.[13] He also favored cuts to foreign aid, saying, "To me, foreign aid is an area that you not only can cut but you could take a chainsaw to in terms of reductions."[13]

McDonald co-sponsored a resolution "expressing the sense of the Congress that homosexual acts and the class of individuals who advocate such conduct shall never receive special consideration or a protected status under law".[14]

He advocated the use of the non-approved drug laetrile to treat patients in advanced stages of cancer[15] despite medical opinion that the promotion of laetrile to treat cancer was a canonical example of quackery.[16][17][18] McDonald also opposed the establishment of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day,[19] saying the FBI had evidence that King "was associated with and being manipulated by communists and secret communist agents".[20] A firearms enthusiast and game hunter, McDonald allegedly had "about 200" guns at his official district residence.[21]

In 1979, with John Rees and Major General John K. Singlaub, McDonald founded the Western Goals Foundation. According to The Spokesman-Review, it was intended to "blunt subversion, terrorism, and communism" by filling the gap "created by the disbanding of the House Un-American Activities Committee and what [McDonald] considered to be the crippling of the FBI during the 1970s". McDonald became the second president of the John Birch Society in 1983, succeeding Robert Welch.[20]

McDonald rarely spoke on the House floor, preferring to insert material into the Congressional Record.[20] These insertions typically dealt with foreign policy issues relating to the Soviet Union and domestic issues centered on the growth of non-Soviet and Soviet sponsored leftist subversion. A number of McDonald's insertions relating to the Socialist Workers Party were collected into a book, Trotskyism and Terror: The Strategy of Revolution, published in 1977.[22]

During his time in Congress, McDonald introduced over 150 bills, including legislation to:

  • Repeal the Gun Control Act of 1968.
  • Remove the limitation upon the amount of outside income a Social Security recipient may earn.
  • Award honorary U.S. Citizenship to Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.[23]
  • Invite Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to address a joint meeting of Congress.[24]
  • Prohibit Federal funds from being used to finance the purchase of American agricultural commodities by any Communist country.
  • Create a select committee in the House of Representatives to conduct an investigation of human rights abuses in Southeast Asia by Communist forces.
  • Repeal the FCC regulations against editorializing and support of political candidates by noncommercial educational broadcasting stations.
  • Create a House Committee on Internal Security.
  • Impeach UN Ambassador Andrew Young.
  • Limit eligibility for appointment and admission to any United States service academy to men.
  • Direct the Comptroller General of the United States to audit the gold held by the United States annually.
  • Increase the national speed limit to 65 miles per hour (105 km/h) from the then-prevailing national speed limit of 55 miles per hour (89 km/h).
  • Abolish the Federal Election Commission.
  • Get the U.S. out of the United Nations.
  • Place statues of Booker T. Washington and George Washington Carver in the Capitol.[25]

Death[edit | edit source]

McDonald was invited to South Korea to attend a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the United States–South Korea Mutual Defense Treaty with three fellow members of Congress, Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, Senator Steve Symms of Idaho, and Representative Carroll Hubbard of Kentucky.[26] 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 or three minutes.[19] McDonald could have boarded a Pan Am Boeing 747 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.[19] Simultaneously, Hubbard and Helms planned to meet with McDonald to discuss how to join McDonald on the KAL 007 flight. As the delays mounted, instead of joining McDonald, Hubbard at the last minute gave up on the trip, canceled his reservations, and accepted a Kentucky speaking engagement while Helms attempted to join McDonald but was also delayed.[27]

McDonald occupied an aisle seat, 02B in the first class section, when KAL 007 took off on August 31 at 12:24 AM local time, on a 3,400 miles (5,500 km) trip to Anchorage, Alaska for a scheduled stopover seven hours later. The plane remained on the ground for an hour and a half during which it was refueled, reprovisioned, cleaned, and serviced.[19] The passengers were given the option of leaving the aircraft but McDonald remained on the plane, catching up on his sleep. Helms meanwhile had managed to arrive and invited McDonald to move onto his flight, KAL 015, but McDonald did not wish to be disturbed. With a fresh flight crew, KAL 007 took off at 4 AM local time for its scheduled non-stop flight over the Pacific to Seoul's Kimpo International Airport, a nearly 4,500 miles (7,200 km) flight that would take approximately eight hours.[19] On September 1, 1983, McDonald and the rest of the passengers and crew of KAL 007 were killed when Soviet fighters, under the command of Gen. Anatoly Kornukov, shot down KAL 007 near Moneron Island after the plane entered Soviet airspace.

The International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors, a group made up of some families of the victims of the shootdown, maintains that there is reason to believe that McDonald and others of Flight 007 survived the shootdown.[28] The committee corroborates this theory with claims that Soviet military communication and black box transcripts show a post-missile detonation flightpath at 5,000 meters (16,000 ft) for almost 5 minutes until the stricken aircraft was over the only land mass in the Tatar straits and within Soviet territorial waters, where it began a slow spiral descent.

This viewpoint has received some coverage in the conservative news agency Accuracy in Media and also the New American, the magazine of the John Birch Society.[29][30][31][32][33]

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

After McDonald's death, a special election was held to fill his seat in Congress. Former Governor Lester Maddox stated his intention to run for the seat if McDonald's widow, Kathy McDonald, did not.[34] Kathy McDonald did decide to run, but lost to George "Buddy" Darden. Much of the congressional district McDonald represented would later be represented by Newt Gingrich.[citation needed]

Tribute[edit | edit source]

On March 18, 1998, the Georgia House of Representatives, "to preserve the memory of the sacrifice and service of this able and outstanding Georgian and recognize his service to the people of his district", named the portion of Interstate 75, which runs from the Chattahoochee River northward to the Tennessee state line in his honor, the Larry McDonald Memorial Highway.[35]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]



  • We Hold These Truths: A Reverent Review of the U.S. Constitution. Seal Beach, CA: '76 Press, 1976. ISBN 0-89245-005-3.
    • Revised edition: Larry McDonald Memorial Foundation, Inc., 1992. ISBN 9780963280909 171 pages.
  • Trotskyism and Terror: The Strategy of Revolution. Washington, D.C.: ACU Education and Research Institute, 1977.

Contributed works

Articles by other authors

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 St. John, Jeffrey (1985-09-30). "Essay on Character: Lawrence Patton McDonald (1935–1983)". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. https://web.archive.org/web/20070927004949/http://www.jbs.org/node/1053. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  2. Dorfman, Zach (December 2, 2018). "The Congressman Who Created His Own Deep State. Really.". Politico. https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/12/02/larry-mcdonald-communists-deep-state-222726. Retrieved 2 December 2018. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "McDonald, Lawrence Patton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. http://bioguide.congress.gov/scripts/biodisplay.pl?index=M000413. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  4. International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors "Lawrence 'Larry' Patton McDonald", March 10, 2009; retrieved January 21, 2010.
  5. McDonald, Larry (July 9, 1974). "Where I Stand (advertisement)". https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=25gFAAAAIBAJ&sjid=QjMDAAAAIBAJ&pg=2747,892908. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  6. Poole, Keith T. (July 1998). "Estimating a Basic Space From A Set of Issue Scales". pp. 954–993. Digital object identifier:10.2307/2991737. JSTOR 2991737. http://voteview.com/basic.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-04. 
  7. Poole, Keith T. (2004-10-13). "Is John Kerry a Liberal?". http://voteview.com/Is_John_Kerry_A_Liberal.htm. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  8. ACU Ratings of Congress: House Ratings: 1976[dead link] , 1977 Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., 1978 Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., 1979 Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., 1980 Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., 1981 Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., 1982 Archived 2013-09-28 at the Wayback Machine., 1983 Archived 2007-06-27 at the Wayback Machine.; retrieved 2009-08-26.
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Remembering Larry McDonald". 2003-09-08. http://www.accessmylibrary.com/coms2/summary_0286-24528832_ITM. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  10. McDonald, Larry P. (1981). "Remarks of the Honorable Larry P. McDonald of Georgia: On the occasion of the 24th annual memorial services commemorating the death of U.S. Senator Joseph Raymond McCarthy". Senator Joseph R. McCarthy Educational Foundation. 
  11. "Five Myths About the Gold Standard" by Rep. Larry McDonald and Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). Congressional Record, Vol. 127, No. 28; February 23, 1981; retrieved January 21, 2010.
  12. "Rep. Larry McDonald explains why Congress needs to stop passing laws" on YouTube. YouTube; retrieved 2009-08-26.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Royal, David (1982-08-20). "7th District Race for U.S. Congress: Incumbent Larry McDonald cites 'favorable record'". https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=348&dat=19820820&id=QcoHAAAAIBAJ&sjid=qDQDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4791,3152211. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  14. "H.Con.Res.29". Library of Congress. https://www.congress.gov/bill/97th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/29. 
  15. "H.R.4045 - 96th Congress (1979-1980)". Library of Congress. https://www.congress.gov/bill/96th-congress/house-bill/4045?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22laetrile%22%2C%22laetrile%22%5D%7D. 
  16. Herbert V. (May 1979). "Laetrile: the cult of cyanide. Promoting poison for profit". pp. 1121–58. Digital object identifier:10.1093/ajcn/32.5.1121. PMID 219680. http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/pmidlookup?view=long&pmid=219680. 
  17. Lerner IJ (February 1, 1984). "The whys of cancer quackery". pp. 815–19. Digital object identifier:10.1002/1097-0142(19840201)53:3+<815::AID-CNCR2820531334>3.0.CO;2-U. PMID 6362828. 
  18. Nightingale SL (1984). "Laetrile: the regulatory challenge of an unproven remedy". pp. 333–38. PMC 1424606. PMID 6431478. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 19.3 19.4 Wilkes Jr., Donald E. (September 3, 2003). "The Death Flight of Larry McDonald". p. 7. Archived from the original on March 14, 2012. https://web.archive.org/web/20120314091507/http://www.law.uga.edu/dwilkes_more/his36_flight.html. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 "McDonald's peers note tragic irony". 1983-09-02. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=I9kRAAAAIBAJ&sjid=p-4DAAAAIBAJ&pg=6859%2C844160. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  21. "Congressman Reportedly Helped to Stockpile Guns". 1977-03-30. p. 18. https://www.nytimes.com/1977/03/30/archives/congressman-reportedly-helped-to-stockpile-guns.html. Retrieved August 26, 2009. 
  22. Evans, M. Stanton (1977). Introduction. Trotskyism and Terror: The Strategy of Revolution. By Larry McDonald. Washington, D.C.: ACU Education and Research Institute. pp. 2–3.
  23. McDonald, Lawrence. "House Concurrent Resolution 348 - A concurrent resolution to award honorary United States citizenship to Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn". https://www.congress.gov/bill/94th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/348?s=7&r=999. Retrieved 3 July 2019. 
  24. McDonald, Lawrence. "House Concurrent Resolution 353 - Concurrent resolution to invite Alexandr Solzhenitsyn to address a joint meeting of the House of Representatives and Senate.". https://www.congress.gov/bill/94th-congress/house-concurrent-resolution/353?s=7&r=998. Retrieved 3 July 2019. 
  25. Representative Lawrence P. McDonald (1935 - 1983) at Congress.gov.
  26. Johnson, R. W. (1986). "Shootdown: Flight 007 and the American Connection". New York, N.Y.: Viking Penguin. pp. 3–4. 
  27. Farber, Stephen (1988-11-27). "TELEVISION; Why Sparks Flew in Retelling the Tale of Flight 007". https://www.nytimes.com/1988/11/27/arts/television-why-sparks-flew-in-retelling-the-tale-of-flight-007.html?sec=&spon=&pagewanted=all. Retrieved August 24, 2009. 
  28. "Rescue 007 Home". Rescue007.org. http://www.rescue007.org. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  29. Irvine, Reed (November 1, 2001). "Let's ask Putin". http://www.aim.org/publications/weekly_column/2001/11/01.html. Retrieved 20 October 2010. 
  30. Irvine, Reed (December 6, 2001). "Put it to Putin". http://www.aim.org/publications/aim_report/2001/21.html. 
  31. Irvine, Reed (November 16, 2001). "Questions for President Putin". http://www.aim.org/publications/weekly_column/2001/11/16.html. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  32. Lee, Robert W. (September 10, 1991). "KAL 007 Remembered: The Questions Remain Unanswered". http://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/foreign-policy/item/1147-kal-007-remembered-the-questions-remain-unanswered. 
  33. Mass, Warren (September 1, 2008). "KAL flight 007 remembered". http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/history/item/4684-kal-flight-007-remembered. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  34. "Maddox Says He May Seek McDonald's Seat in House". 1983-09-08. http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=MH&s_site=miami&p_multi=MH&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB35D7828C0FA3A&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM. Retrieved 2009-08-26. 
  35. "HR 1098 - Larry McDonald Memorial Highway; designate". http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/Archives/19971998/leg/fulltext/hr1098.htm. Retrieved 10 December 2018. 

External links[edit | edit source]

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

Succeeded by
George Darden
Other offices
Preceded by
Robert W. Welch Jr.
President of the John Birch Society
Succeeded by
Robert W. Welch Jr.

This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.