Society of Senates Past

Photograph of State Senator

Democrat, District 1A.

Born in Hagerstown, January 12, 1929.  Attended Hagerstown public schools; University of Maryland (Business and Public Administration); University of Maryland Law School.  Married; six children; nine grandchildren.

General Assembly:
Member of Senate, 1959-74.  Chair, Aviation, Roads, and Transportation Committee, 1963-66; Correctional Administration Committee, 1965-68; Taxation and Fiscal Matters Committee, 1965-68; Special Joint Committee on Prisons, 1967; Finance Committee, 1971-74.  Member, Legislative Council, 1971-74.  Majority Leader, 1971-74.

Private Career and Other Public Service:
Businessman and consultant.  Ex Officio Member, Washington County Economic Development Commission; Member, Coordinating Council of Correctional Services, 1968-69.  Chair, Governor's Commission on Abandonment and Recycling of Motor Vehicles.  Member, St. John's Evangelical Lutheran Church; National Society of Legislators; Hagerstown Kiwanis Club.  Past President, Maryland Junior Chamber of Commerce.  Member, National Jacyee Board of Directors; Past National Membership Chairman and Junior Chamber International Senator.  Past President, National Taxpayers Union.  Past National Director of the Constitutional Amendment for a Federal Balanced Budget.  Member, Hagerstown Chamber of Commerce; Elks; United Commercial Travelers.  Received Clayton Frost Award, 1958 as Outstanding State Junior Chamber of Commerce President in the Nation.  Named one of five Outstanding Young Men of Maryland, 1959; Outstanding Young Man of Washington County, 1959; Named State Official of the Year, 1967, by Maryland Municipal League.  Received Legislator of the Year Award from Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., 1972.

Personal Comments and Observations:
    The most controversial issue "in my 16 years I would say [was] the phasing out of slot machines in five southern Maryland counties.  I opposed slots.  To top things off I was offered a bribe by a former House of Delegates member.  Fortunately, we were able to get rid of slots...
    "The most memorable moment was "...during a Senate session (I just don't recall the year), a large exhaust fan belt broke in the glass sky light in the Senate chamber and it sounded like a machine gun going off.  Most members of the Senate fell to the floor.  I recall others trying to get out of the chamber and Senator James Pine breaking Senator Sanford's wife's arm as they both were trying to exit.  Senator Fred Malkus had the floor and he just kept on talking.  Naturally, none of us knew it was the broken fan belt until later.  What added to our fears was a few years before some Puerto Rico militants did open fire with machine guns on the U.S. House of Representatives.
    "Each year I would focus on a major piece of legislation that required creative leadership.  As a marketing consultant doing creative things I applied those skills to legislation that could assist in solving obvious concerns.  Some included economic development; prison reform; automobile inspection (without building an empire); stop[ping] the growth of junk car graveyards; elimination of waste and duplication in government, etc.
    "Perhaps as significant was my role in helping to kill unneeded legislation, particularly in my years as Majority Leader of the Senate."

Compiled March 16, 2000 from the biographical files of the Maryland Manual, ©Maryland State Archives and from materials submitted by Senator Snyder dated December 6, 1999.
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