Norman R. Stone Jr., a bricklayer who went on to become both the longest-serving member of the General Assembly as well as the Maryland State Senate, died Friday at Anne Arundel Medical Center, according to his son retired Baltimore County District Court Judge Norman R. Stone III.
He was 87 and a cause of death was not immediately disclosed. Funeral arrangements are not currently available.
“He was a great man but also a good man,” said Michael Lore, a former chief of staff to Stone. “He had a really good heart.”
Stone was the son of Norman R. Stone — who later changed his name to Raymond N. Stone — a plant manager at the Glenn L. Martin plant in Middle River and Lucy (Fratta) Stone, a homemaker.
Stone attended public schools in Baltimore City. He later graduated from the University of Baltimore and the University of Baltimore School of Law. During that time, he worked as a bricklayer and a saxophone player in a band that played at local clubs.
Stone, not yet 25, volunteered in the effort to elect John F. Kennedy to the White House. He later caught the eye of Democratic Party bosses including Michael J. Birmingham.
Birmingham, the powerful eastside party boss and first executive of Baltimore County called Stone at home early on a weekend morning and asked him to run for the House of Delegates. Stone, in a 2010 interview, said the request came more in the form of a statement and few people said no to the man known as “Iron Mike.”
Stone served just one term in the House of Delegates before being elected to the Senate in 1967, where he served another 48 years.
More details on his life and accomplishments on Maryland Matters.