Governor Martin O’Malley Announces the Passing of William Donald Schaefer
Once asked how he would like to be remembered, Schaefer replied “He Cared.”
Governor Martin O’Malley, on behalf of the State of Maryland, announces with deepest sorrow, the death of William Donald Schaefer, who served eight years as the 58th Governor of Maryland, eight years as the 32nd Comptroller of the State, and 15 years as the 52nd Mayor of Baltimore. Governor O’Malley has ordered the Maryland State Flag flown at half staff effective immediately.
“I join all Marylanders in mourning the loss of one of our own – Maryland’s indomitable statesman, William Donald Schaefer,” said Governor O’Malley. “William Donald Schaefer loved his city and his state with great exuberance because there was nothing more important to him than the people that he served with such loyalty. From his famous ‘no excuses’ leadership style, to his celebrated public persona, William Donald Schaefer demonstrated an unrelenting drive to make Maryland a better place. His legacy lives not merely in the buildings that bear his name, nor the statue that bears his likeness, but in the lives and hearts of all those fortunate enough to have known him and lucky enough to have been served by him.”
Governor O’Malley has directed that the former governor will lie in state in the State House in Annapolis and the Rotunda of Baltimore City Hall. Times and dates for lying in State and funeral services will be announced.
MIKULSKI STATEMENT ON PASSING OF GOVERNOR WILLIAM DONALD SCHAEFER
Mikulski Statement on the Passing of William Donald Schaefer
.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today issued the following statement on the passing of William Donald Schaefer:
“This is a really sad and poignant day. It’s not only the passing of a public figure, it’s the passing of an era.
“I really loved William Donald Schaefer. He not only gave Baltimore a new Harbor, he gave Baltimore a new sense of self confidence. He took a city that was that was down on the ropes and he gave it a new economy.
“William Donald Schaefer had a relentless ‘do it now’ approach to break through government bureaucracy and get it in gear, whether it was in the city government or the state government. ‘Do it now’ spread as a culture throughout Baltimore and throughout Maryland. We all wanted to get it done and we all wanted to ‘do it now.’
“Though his roots were in machine-driven politics, he had the heart of a reformer.
“I first came to know William Donald Schaefer when I was a young social worker and then as a member of the City Council. He really concentrated on the housing issues. We worked together trying to get rid of slums and trying to get rid of blight.
“When I was fighting against a 16-lane highway planned to run through the heart of the European-ethnic communities of East side Baltimore in a coalition with the West side, particularly the Rosemont community, I thought I had the votes to repeal the highway plan. I had been promised by my colleagues that they would vote with me.
“Then-Mayor Schaefer called me up and said, ‘Barbara, I am going to roll you. I am the Mayor. You can’t run the city.’ When the votes came in, I lost 16 to 3. Mayor Schaefer said, ‘Bob Embry thinks the waterfront could mean something. I don’t know. What do you got to say, kiddo?’
“Out of that came the beginning of how to fashion a compromise that led to the Ft. McHenry Tunnel. We saved Fells Point. We saved Federal Hill. We created the opportunity to build Camden Yards. Our unfinished business, which I’m now working on, is the West Side. So he beat me one day. But then he invited me into the office on another day.
“That’s the way William Donald Schaefer was. No permanent crankiness. Just a permanent agenda to build Baltimore and its economy. He never stopped thinking about Baltimore. Baltimore and its streets and its neighborhoods and its people were his family.
“When I went to Congress and then to the Senate, his agenda was – ‘Big bucks for Baltimore.’
“When he went on to be Governor, he felt the same way about all the people of Maryland. He wanted to create jobs and he wanted to create opportunity for all the people of Maryland. For him it was always about the people. He was about building schools, keeping the libraries open and creating jobs. And he wasn’t going to let anything get in his way.
“William Donald Schaefer was a true patriot. This is a sad day. I wish him God’s speed.”
An audio file of U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski’s (D-Md.) statement on the passing of William Donald Schaefer is available at the link below:
CARDIN STATEMENT ON THE DEATH OF WILLIAM DONALD SCHAEFER
“This is a sad day for all of us. Don Schaefer was an indomitable force who dedicated his life to the people of Maryland. His vision paved the way for Baltimore City’s renaissance and helped ensure Maryland’s preeminence as an innovative, progressive state that is able to meet the challenges of the 21st Century. There was no problem that was too small for his attention and his forceful ‘do-it-now-style’ focused attention on finding solutions and getting results. Personally, it was a privilege to have known him and he leaves a legacy of strong, visionary leadership that transformed a city and a state.”
Statement from Rep. Andy Harris on the passing of Gov. William Donald Schaefer:
“The passing of Gov. Schaefer is truly a sad moment for all Marylanders. He was a true public servant and, because of his “do-it-now” attitude, will always remain an icon in state and local politics. Though the Inner Harbor and Oriole Park at Camden Yards will be lasting reminders of Gov. Schaefer for future generations, I will remember him for his lifelong love and devotion to the people of Maryland.”