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Matthew J. Ryan
Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives

In office
January 6, 1981 – January 4, 1983
Preceded by Jack Seltzer
Succeeded by Leroy Irivs

In office
January 3, 1995 – March 29, 2003
Preceded by Bill Deweese
Succeeded by John Perzel
Republican Leader of the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

In office
January 4, 1983 – November 30, 1994
Preceded by Samuel Hayes
Succeeded by John Perzel

In office
January 2, 1979 – November 30, 1980
Preceded by Jack Seltzer
Succeeded by Samuel Hayes
Republican Whip of the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

In office
January 2, 1973 – November 30, 1978
Preceded by Robert Butera
Succeeded by Samuel Hayes
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
In office
January 7, 1969 – March 29, 2003
Preceded by District Created
Succeeded by Tom Killion
Constituency Part of Delaware County
Member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives
In office
January 1, 1963 – November 30, 1968
Personal details
Born April 27, 1932
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died March 29, 2003(2003-03-29) (aged 70)[1]
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Patricia Jenkins

Matthew J. Ryan was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for over 40 years and served as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.

Ryan was a 1950 graduate of Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He earned a degree from Villanova University in 1954 and a law degree from Villanova University School of Law in 1959.[2] Ryan served in the United States Marine Corps from 1954 to 1956.[3] The Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania is named in his honor.[4]

Ryan was first elected to represent the 168th legislative district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1962.[2] He served in the House Republican Leadership as Policy Committee Chairman from 1971 to 1972.[2] He was the Republican Whip from 1973–1978, with 1973–1974 spent as the Majority Whip.[2] He was elected Republican Leader in 1979–1980, with those years in the majority.[2] He served as Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1981–1982.[2] In 1983, the Republicans became the minority and Ryan became the Republican Leader again.[2] In 1995, the Republicans regained the majority and elected Ryan Speaker of the House, a position he held until his death in 2003.[2][3]

In 2002, the political website PoliticsPA named him to the list of "Smartest Legislators," calling him "quick and sharp with his Irish wit from the Speaker's rostrum" and a "man of true wisdom."[5] In a 2002 PoliticsPA Feature story designating politicians with yearbook superlatives, he was named the "Most Popular."[6]

The "Speaker Matthew J. Ryan Building" on the state capitol grounds

In 1999, the Capitol Annex of the Pennsylvania State Capitol building in Harrisburg was renamed the Speaker Matthew J. Ryan Legislative Office Building.[3] The Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania is named in his honor.[4]

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