From the Baltimore Sun
Schaefer goes back to capital for award
By Jennifer Skalka
March 29, 2007
William Donald Schaefer made a quiet return to Annapolis yesterday to
accept the annual First Citizen Award, bestowed by the governor and
Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller.
Schaefer, 85, walked gingerly to the Senate podium to accept the honor,
created in 1992 to recognize individuals who have made important
contributions to the state through public service or philanthropy.
Former Attorney General J. Joseph Curran Jr., the father-in-law of Gov.
Martin O'Malley, also received the tribute.
"William Donald Schaefer has left his mark on every office he has ever
held," said Edward C. Papenfuse, the Maryland state archivist. "His
insistence on product and getting things done, from fixing potholes to
building stadiums, is legendary. ... The tributes and accolades for his
accomplishments have even made it into newspapers he doesn't like."
Speaking in a soft voice for a few minutes, Schaefer noted several
times that he had left his prepared speech at home. He said he was
lucky to serve as Baltimore mayor, governor and state comptroller, and
even found kind words for O'Malley, a longtime political foe.
"You've got a nice young governor who I used to fight with all the
time," he said to a chamber packed with lawmakers, former Schaefer
aides and several members of Curran's family.
"Laugh," Schaefer told his audience. "Stand up and laugh."
Schaefer, who lost last year's Democratic primary for comptroller,
managed a complaint even in a moment of celebration. He said that when
he was governor, the Senate president never let him enter the chamber.
"I could never get in the door," he said. "He kept me out."
Curran, a former lieutenant governor who retired this year after two
decades as attorney general, was toasted by Papenfuse for his fairness,
love of state history and strong attachment to family. First lady
Catherine Curran O'Malley and two of her siblings looked on from the
Curran, 75, said he especially enjoys his most recent title: first
The governor said of both honorees: "They have done their best their
entire lives for the hopes and dreams that all of us share."
Copyright © 2007, The Baltimore Sun