Reverend James Warren "Jim" Jones (May 13, 1931 – November 18, 1978) was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, which is best known for the November 18, 1978 mass suicide of 909 Temple members in Jonestown, Guyana along with the killings of five other people at a nearby airstrip. Over 200 children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of whom were forcibly made to ingest cyanide by the elite Temple members.
Jones was born in Indiana and started the Temple in that state in the 1950s. Jones and the Temple later moved to California, and both gained notoriety with the move of the Temple's headquarters to San Francisco in the mid-1970s.
The incident in Guyana ranks among the largest mass suicides in history, though most likely it involved forced suicide and/or murder, and was the single greatest loss of American civilian life in a non-natural disaster until the events of September 11, 2001. Among the dead wasLeo Ryan, who remains the only Congressman assassinated in the line of duty as a Congressman in the history of the United States.