James Warren "Jim" Jones was the founder and leader of the Peoples Temple, best known for the cult suicide in 1978 of 909 of its members in Jonestown, Guyana, and the murder of five individuals at a nearby airstrip. Over 200 children were murdered at Jonestown, almost all of them by cyanide poisoning. Jones died from a gunshot wound to the head.
Jones was born in Indiana and started the Temple there in the 1950s. He later moved the Temple to California in the mid-1960s, and gained notoriety with the move of the Temple's headquarters to San Francisco in the early 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 was Leo Ryan, who remains the only Congressman assassinated in the line of duty in U.S. history.