David Joseph Ryan (1890-1927) was born in Sydney and educated by the Patrician Brothers at Redfern and Holy Cross College, Ryde. He was a committed Catholic. After service in the First World War, he was an Alderman for Denison Ward, from December 1918 to November 1921.
When he was elected, with William Lambert, this was the first time two Labor men represented Denison. Ryan was also a member of the Parliamentary Labor League (PLL). He was immensely popular: when he died, at 37, the procession was nearly a mile long.