TROPP, Richard David

Photos Courtesy of California Historical Society, MSP 3800

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Last Name
Given Names
Richard David
Better known as
Date of Birth
Age at Death
Place of Birth
Brooklyn, New York
Family Tree
  Tropp Family Tree
Birth Mother
Birth Father
Harriet Sarah Tropp, aka Sarah Tropp
Non-Temple Relatives
Body Identification Number
37-A [Listed as "Troop, Richard David"]
Burial Location
Source of Death Information
House Foreign Affairs Committee report; FBI document 89-4286-1302 (prepared 12/78)
Entry into Guyana
Residence (US)
Redwood Valley, California 95470
Residence (JT)
Cottage 09
Occupation in U.S./Skills, Talents & Interests
Teacher (RYMUR 89-4286-X-5-a-28c); English instructor (College)/ Writer
Occupation in Jonestown (Temple Records)
Family Services—Entertainment, Movies and Video (RYMUR 89-4286-C-7-h-4a); High School; Publications (RYMUR 89-4286-C-7-h-4b); High School Education (RYMUR 89-4286-E-2-A-1eee)
Jonestown Roles (FBI Records)
Planning Commission (FBI document 89-4286-1207); Teacher (FBI Report, 89-4286-1681)
Government Income
“Dick was a census worker when he first met Jim Jones. I was his significant other, and we had moved to Redwood Valley in 1969 to start or join a commune. Our little house was about 1/2 mile away, across the river & through the woods, from the Redwood Valley Temple. Dick accepted Jim's invitation to attend services, and decided to stay when he saw the interracial character of the congregation. Dick had taught at Fisk University, and was committed to racial justice. I joined with him, but never went to Guyana. Martin Luther King had been assassinated the year before, and I think he saw in the Temple an opportunity to commit his life to a path of social justice. Harriett, his sister, came for a visit several years later and stayed to become a member also. Dick and Harriett have a brother, Martin Tropp, who never came to the Temple. Dick was a gifted cellist and worked as a teacher at Santa Rosa Junior College during his years at the Temple. In Jonestown, he was given charge of the school. He worked to bring visitors from other organizations and countries to Jonestown. I heard from Atty. Charles Garry, and from other survivors who were in Jonestown that day, of Dick's extreme heroism that morning, going to the mat in arguing with Jim Jones and opposing his intention to go ahead with mass suicide. Dick's life is representative of the lives lost, and more still, of an ideal that seemed to die with them. Amid the guilt of a survivor, I wonder still whether this was the evil plan of one deranged leader, a hard lesson on not following leaders, or a carefully cultivated CIA black op with a foregone conclusion, or all three.” - Kathryn (Tropp) Barbour

“I met Dick at the University of Rochester and got to know him better when he spent the year after his graduation in Paris, while I did my junior year in Florence. We were both born in New York and both of us ended up in California. After he left UC Berkeley, he went to work for my brother who was partner in a jade mine in Mendocino County. For years I felt guilty. If it hadn't been for me, he would never have moved to Redwood City. Now I know better. Dick was committed to racial justice and to creating a better world. He would have found Jim Jones without me. Even so, I regret having played a part in connecting him to Jim Jones. I moved to Canada in 1971 and lost touch with him. I regret that, and more than anything, I regret his loss. ” - Dorothy Field

Remembering Dick Tropp ” - Kathryn Barbour (Tropp)

What have we learned in 32 years? ” - Kathryn Barbour (Tropp)

Remembering Dick Tropp ” - Dorothy Field

Jonestown’s Writer” - David Chiu

As We Remember” - Mike Cartmell