William R. Ratchford
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William R. Ratchford
William R. Ratchford
Wm R. Ratchford.png
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Connecticut's 5th district

January 3, 1979 - January 3, 1985
Ronald A. Sarasin
John G. Rowland
Member of the Connecticut House of Representatives

Personal details
William Richard Ratchford

(1934-05-24)May 24, 1934
Danbury, Connecticut
DiedJanuary 2, 2011(2011-01-02) (aged 76)
Arlington, Virginia
Political partyDemocratic
Alma materUniversity of Connecticut

William Richard Ratchford (May 24, 1934 - January 2, 2011) was an American politician from Connecticut. He served six terms in the Connecticut House of Representatives, including two as speaker, and three terms in the United States House of Representatives. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Early life

He was born in Danbury, Connecticut. In 1952, Ratchford graduated from Danbury High School in Danbury, Connecticut. In 1956, he received a B.A. from the University of Connecticut, Storrs, where he was a member of the Chi Phi Fraternity. In 1959, he graduated with his J.D. from Georgetown Law School, Washington, D.C.. He served in the Connecticut National Guard from 1959 to 1965. Ratchford was admitted to the Connecticut bar in 1959 and commenced practice in Danbury, in 1960.

Political career

He was elected to the Connecticut House of Representatives in 1962. In 1969, he became the speaker a post that he held until 1972. In 1974, he ran for Congress from the 5th congressional district, but lost to Ronald A. Sarasin.[1]

After his defeat, he served as chairman of the Governor's Blue Ribbon Committee on Nursing Homes from 1975 to 1976, and as Commissioner on Aging from 1977 to 1978. He served as a delegate to the Connecticut State Democratic conventions from 1960 to 1974, and as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in 1972 and 1984.

In 1978, he made a second run for Congress for the seat that Sarasin vacated to run for Governor. He defeated State Senator George Guidera by 8,273 votes.[2] He won re-election in 1980 and 1982. In 1984, he was defeated by future Connecticut Governor John G. Rowland as Ronald Reagan's landslide re-election boosted Republicans.[3]

After leaving Congress, he taught at his alma mater, Georgetown University, and worked as a lobbyist. He later was the Associate Administrator in the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. General Services Administration from 1993 to 2001.[3]


He died on January 2, 2011, aged 76, from complications of Parkinson's disease. He had been a long-time resident of Arlington, Virginia.[3]


  1. ^ "Members of the New Congress, Governors and the Winners in Connecticut". New York Times. 1974-11-07.
  2. ^ "POLITICS: Mr. Ratchford Goes to Washington". York Times. 1978-11-19.
  3. ^ a b c "William R. Ratchford, Connecticut Congressman, Dies at 76". New York Times. 2011-01-05.

External links

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress website http://bioguide.congress.gov.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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