Speaker Sam L. Collins, 1895-1965
Father of Mr. Sam E. Collins, grandfather of Mark, Patrick and Casey. For many years, Speaker Collins was one of the most powerful and influential men in Fullerton, Orange County, and later all of California. Photo ca 1953.


Samuel LaFort Collins (August 6, 1895 – June 26, 1965) was a Republican politician from California. 


Collins was born in Fortville, Indiana, attended public schools in Indiana and California, and graduated from Chaffey Union High School, Ontario, California, in 1915. 


He served as a private in the Hospital Corps, Seventh Infantry, California National Guard on the Mexican border in 1916. From 1917–1919, he served in the United States Army overseas as a sergeant in Co. C, 364th Infantry, 91st Division. 


After discharge from the Army, Collins studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1921, and practiced in Fullerton, California. He was assistant district attorney of Orange County, California, 1926–1930 and district attorney 1930–1932. 


In 1932 Collins was elected to the 73rd Congress, and reelected, serving during 1933–1937. He lost his bid for reelection to a third term in 1936. 


Collins served as member of the California State Assembly 1940–1952, serving as speaker 1947–1952. 


Collins was the longest-serving Speaker in California history until the record was broken by Jesse M. Unruh, who was speaker from 1961–1969. Collins is the fourth-longest-serving Speaker behind Leo T. McCarthy (1974–1980), Unruh, and Willie Brown (1980–1995). 


Collins is the longest-serving Republican Speaker. After serving in the Assembly, he resumed the practice of law. 


Collins died at the age of sixty-nine in Fullerton and is buried at Loma Vista Memorial Park.


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