Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

Thomas B. Finan (1914-1972)
MSA SC 3520-1524


Born in Cumberland, June 30, 1914.  Son of Thomas B. Finan and Mary M. Dolan Finan.  He was educated in the Cumberland parochial schools, Georgetown University (A.B., 1936), and the University of Maryland School of Law (LL.B., 1939).  Roman Catholic.  Married Isabel Jean North; two children:  Thomas B. Finan, Jr.; William Timothy Finan.  Died May 6, 1972 in Cumberland.  Buried in Saints Peter and Paul Cemetery, Cumberland.

Thomas B. Finan practiced law in Cumberland from 1939 to 1941 and then after 1945.  He entered the U.S. Army in 1941 as a private and was discharged in 1945 as a captain.  During World War II he served in the European theater, spent several months as a prisoner of war, and was decorated with the Legion of Merit.  He was also a major in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Finan served three terms as city solicitor of Cumberland, from 1948 to 1950 and from 1952 to 1959.  From 1954 to 1959, he was chair of the Democratic State Central Committee for Allegany County, and in August 1959, he became statewide chair.  He represented Maryland at the Democratic National Conventions of 1956 and 1960.  He served as secretary of state of Maryland from January 1959 to January 1961, when Governor J. Millard Tawes appointed him attorney general to fill the unexpired term of C. Ferdinand Sybert, who had resigned to accept an appointment to the Maryland Court of Appeals.  In November 1962, Finan was elected to a four-year term as attorney general.  As attorney general, he served on the Governor's Advisory Council, the Advisory Commission of the Maryland Intergovernmental Cooperation Commission, the State Board of Canvassers, the Committee to Investigate the Correctional Camp System, the Governor's Commission to Study Sentencing in Criminal Cases, the State War Ballot Commission, the Committee to Conciliate Racial Differences in Cambridge, and the Governor's Commission to Study Sentencing in Criminal Cases.  He also served as chair of the Sundry Claims Board and the Baltimore City Police Department Study Committee.  In 1966 he sought the Democratic nomination for governor, calling for greater support for education, economic development and highways.  From 1966 to 1972 he served as judge on the Court of Appeals for the Third Appellate Circuit.  He was an officer of several business firms and active in civic and veterans' organizations.  He was a member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Cumberland.

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