Marvin Mandel was born in Baltimore on April 19, 1920. He attended public schools, graduated from Baltimore City College in 1937 and received his Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Maryland in 1942. After serving in the Army from 1942-1944, he practiced law in Baltimore.
In 1952, Mandel was appointed to the House of Delegates to fill a vacancy, and won re-election to four more terms. He became Speaker in 1963 and served until 1969 when he was elected by the General Assembly to fill the unexpired term of Governor Agnew. He was subsequently re-elected twice in 1970, and in 1974.
During Mandel's terms in office the executive branch underwent a sweeping reorganization into twelve executive departments. A Mass Transit Agency was created to manage public transportation, and to develop subway systems for Baltimore and the Maryland suburbs of Washington. The courts were reorganized and a system of public defenders implemented. A public school construction program was begun, a fact that Governor Mandel wished remembered in his portrait where he is depicted holding a copy of the legislation. In November 1975, a grand jury indicted Governor Mandel. He was tried, convicted of mail fraud and racketeering, and served 19 months in prison before being pardoned by President Ronald Reagan. In 1989 the Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision overturning his conviction.
Mandel married Barbara Oberfeld on June 8, 1941. They had two children, Gary and Ellen. In 1974, they were divorced, and he married Jeanne Dorsey. Governor Mandel now lives and practices law in Annapolis.
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