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Former longtime Maryland Senator Paul Sarbanes passes away at 87

Posted at 8:43 AM, Dec 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-07 17:20:23-05

BALTIMORE — Maryland's former longtime U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes has passed away at age 87.

The news was first announced by his son and current U.S. Congressman, John.

“Our family is grateful to know that we have the support of Marylanders who meant so much to him and whom he was honored to serve," John Sarbanes said in a statement.

The elder Sarbanes held his senate seat for five terms from 1977 until 2007, when he decided not to run for reelection and was succeeded by Ben Cardin.

Due to COVID-19, the family says they will hold a private service in the coming days.

Shortly after learning of his death, Governor Larry Hogan along with many others shared personal memories and offered condolences to the Sarbanes family.

"The Maryland Delegation calls itself Team Maryland, and we became a team because of Senator Sarbanes’s work in reaching hands across the aisle," said retired Maryland U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski. "Senator Sarbanes knew that each of us could make a difference but working together was how we would make change.

“On a personal note, I will never forget Paul’s kindness when I worked with him as a staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1980s, or his mentorship during my first term in the House, and his willingness to offer advice and counsel when I was elected to the Senate in 2016," said Senator Chris Van Hollen.

"As a State Delegate in Baltimore’s 2nd District, he was dedicated to his constituents and left a long-lasting mark on those he served. He is a lifelong Baltimorean and will be missed," said Baltimore City Council President and Mayor-Elect Brandon Scott.

"The former Senator joined the Pratt’s Boards of Directors and Trustees in 2009, filling his wife Christine’s seat after her passing," The Enoch Pratt Free Library said in a statement. "He continued her passionate advocacy for branch libraries and was integral in helping the Pratt expand hours in neighborhoods across Baltimore. For a decade, he worked to secure funding for the renovation of the historic Pratt Central Library.

“As a legislator, he was a workhorse, not a show horse – from strengthening corporate oversight with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, to his tireless efforts to restore and protect the Chesapeake Bay, to his commitment to safeguarding our democracy through a lead role in the Watergate proceedings," said Democratic National Committee Chairman, Tom Perez.