Richard Edmund Lyng

Richard Edmund Lyng (June 29, 1918 February 1, 2003) was a U.S. administrator. A Republican, he served as the Secretary of Agriculture between 1986 and 1989.[1] (See also: Lyng v. Northwest Indian Cemetery Protective Ass'n)

Richard Edmund Lyng
22nd United States Secretary of Agriculture
In office
March 7, 1986  January 20, 1989
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byJohn R. Block
Succeeded byClayton K. Yeutter
3rd United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture
In office
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byJim Williams
Succeeded byJohn R. Norton III
Personal details
Born(1918-06-29)June 29, 1918
San Francisco, California, United States
DiedFebruary 1, 2003(2003-02-01) (aged 84)
Modesto, California, United States
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Bethyl Lyng
ChildrenJeannette Lyng Robinson
Marilyn Lyng O'Connell
ParentsEdmund John Lyng
Sara McGrath Lyng
Alma materUniversity of Notre Dame
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army
Battles/warsWorld War II

Early life and career

Lyng was born on June 29, 1918, in San Francisco, California. He was the son of Edmund John Lyng, the founder of a California agricultural products company, and his wife, Sara Cecilia (McGrath). He graduated from the University of Notre Dame. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II.

In the mid-1950s, Lyng went into business and eventually became president of the Ed. J. Lyng Co., a seed and bean processing company, and was appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture under President Reagan's cabinet, serving from 1986 to 1989.[1] He was chosen as one of the charter members of the Meat Industry Hall of Fame in 2009.[2]

Personal life

Lyng married Bethyl Ball on June 25, 1944. They had two daughters, Jeannette Lyng Robinson and Marylin Lyng O'Connell. Bethyl Lyng died in 2000.

Lyng died of complications from Parkinson's disease in Modesto, California, on February 1, 2003.


  1. Oliver, Myrna (February 5, 2003). "Richard Lyng, 84; Ex-Agriculture Secretary". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
  2. "Meat Industry Hall of Fame names seven new members to the Class of 2015". Drovers Magazine. June 18, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
John R. Block
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Served under: Ronald Reagan

March 7, 1986 January 20, 1989
Succeeded by
Clayton K. Yeutter

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