R. Budd Dwyer’s Televised Suicide Change Airwaves Forever


On January 15, 1987, Robert Budd Dwyer, a Pennsylvania politician committed suicide on live television. He was scheduled to be sentenced the following day for accepting bribes, although he claimed he didn’t do it. Driven to hopelessness, he ended his own life at a televised press conference.

There were many outcomes to the news conference. First, the world was shocked. The scene was played on the news, but only on one channel in its entirety. Second, since he died while still in office, his wife and children would be able to collect survivor benefits. This totaled over $1.2 million dollars. Lastly, a light was shined on the injustice of the justice system and how no one is safe. In a 2010 documentary, Honest Man: The Life of R. Budd Dwyer a former chairman of the Dauphin County Republican Committee attested to this theory.

C’mon, admit the video’s entertaining. We should call him R. Buddy Dwyer.

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