Robert Budd Dwyer (November 21, 1939 – January 22, 1987) was the 30th State Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
He served from 1971 to 1981 as a Republican member of the Pennsylvania State Senate representing the state's 50th district.
He then served as the 30th Treasurer of Pennsylvania from January 20, 1981, until his death by suicide during a press conference.
In the early 1980s, Pennsylvania discovered its state workers had overpaid federal taxes due to errors in state withholding.
Many accounting firms competed for a multimillion-dollar contract to determine compensation to each employee.
In 1986, Dwyer was convicted of receiving a bribe from the California firm that ultimately won the contract.
He was scheduled to be sentenced on those charges on January 23, 1987.
On January 22, 1987, Dwyer called a news conference in the Pennsylvania state capital of Harrisburg where he killed himself in front of the gathered reporters, by shooting himself in the mouth with a .357 Magnum revolver.
Dwyer's suicide was broadcast later that day to a wide television audience across Pennsylvania.
Throughout Dwyer's trial and after his conviction, he maintained that he was not guilty of the charges levied against him, and that he had been framed.
Decades later, the prosecution's primary witness, William Trickett Smith, whose testimony was largely used to obtain Dwyer's conviction, stated in the documentary Honest Man: The Life of R.
Budd Dwyer, that he had lied under oath in his own trial when he denied offering Dwyer a bribe, but still maintains that his testimony in Dwyer's trial (in which he claimed Dwyer accepted a bribe that was offered by Smith) was truthful.