William Donald Schaefer, a dominant political figure over the last half-century in Maryland, passed away Monday at the age of 89. Over the span of Schaefer’s lifetime he developed a legendary and central role in the Maryland political scene at both the local and state level as four terms as the Mayor of Baltimore City, two terms as Governor, and two terms as Comptroller. Additionally, Schaefer served as a MACo President in 1980. The Baltimore Sun reports :
Gov. Martin O’Malley announced Mr. Schaefer’s death Monday evening and said he will lie in state at the State House and City Hall.
“I think one of the tremendous qualities that he brought to office was that sense that everyone had that he marched to the beat of his own drum. He was not the sort of person who was going to be pushed around or bullied by other elected officials or by the fashions or the whims of the politics of the day. He was a person who had pretty strong opinions and he was a person who was not shy about sharing them,” Mr. O’Malley said.
“There wasn’t a person in the city of Baltimore that didn’t feel like they couldn’t stop him and approach him with a problem. … They knew he was always their mayor and he was always on their side,” Mr. O’Malley said at the State House.