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Maryland Manual, 1971-72
Volume 175, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)
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BLAIR LEE III, Lieutenant Governor of Maryland
When Maryland voters elected Blair Lee III as Lieutenant Governor,
they chose a public official who in a sense was born to the office. Both
his maternal and paternal grandfathers were State Senators, like Mr.
Lee, who is continuing a tradition of public service that has been in-
tertwined with the Lee family heritage for generations.
Lieutenant Governor Lee's father, E. Brooke Lee, was Secretary of
State under Governor Albert C. Ritchie and after that was Speaker
of the House of Delegates. Earlier he had been elected State Comp-
troller at 29. Respectfully called "Colonel Lee," he was one of Mary-
land's most formidable political figures of his day and is still fre-
quently consulted by young, up-and-coming office seekers.
Blair Lee III, Maryland's first Lieutenant Governor under the Con-
stitution of 1867, was born in Silver Spring, on May 19, 1916, the son
of E. Brooke and Elizabeth S. (Wilson) Lee. He was educated at
Princeton University, where he received the degree of Bachelor of
Arts in 1938, with a major in American History. He studied law for
two years before he enlisted in the Navy. Between 1941 and 1945, he
served in the U. S. Naval Reserve, ferrying supplies across the
Atlantic, being discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander.
After the war, he became editor of the Maryland News, a weekly
newspaper operated by his father in Montgomery County. He was
president of the Maryland Press Association in 1949.
That same year Mr. Lee was appointed Vice Chairman and Park
Commissioner for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning
Commission. He held that post until 1951, and was a member of the
Commission in 1965 and 1966. He served as Executive Officer of the
National Capital Planning Commission (a Federal agency serving
Washington, D. C. and its environs) from 1951 to 1954.
In 1948 Mr. Lee was chosen as a delegate to the Democratic National
Convention, a role he also filled in 1960 and 1964.
He was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1954 and
served until 1962, when he became a candidate for the Democratic
nomination to the U. S. Senate. During his two terms in the House
of Delegates, Mr. Lee was Chairman of the Montgomery County dele-
gation. For his outstanding abilities in resolving a dispute in 1958
between the Maryland State Teachers Association and the General
Assembly, Mr. Lee was chosen Legislator of the Year by the Maryland
Legislative Correspondents Association, composed of reporters who
regularly cover the General Assembly.
In 1960, Mr. Lee served as Montgomery County campaign manager
for John F. Kennedy. During the 1964 campaign, he was Regional
Coordinator of the Middle Atlantic States for the Johnson-Humphrey
ticket.
In 1966 Blair Lee was elected to the Maryland Senate, where he
was Vice Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a member
of the Legislative Council.
He was midway into this term when Governor Mandel selected him
as Secretary of State. In recognition of his abilities, Governor Mandel
said Mr. Lee would immediately assume the functions of a Lieutenant
Governor, since Maryland had none at that time. Subsequently, the
General Assembly enacted a constitutional amendment creating the
office of Lieutenant Governor. This amendment was ratified by the
voters at the November 1970 general election, and at the same election,
they chose Blair Lee III to fill the new office.
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Maryland Manual, 1971-72
Volume 175, Page 10   View pdf image (33K)
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