Archives of Maryland
(Biographical Series)

George L. Russell, Jr. (b. 1929)
MSA SC 3520-11548


Born in Baltimore, Maryland, March 19, 1929.  Attended Lincoln University, Pennsylvania, A.B. (Economics), 1950; University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1954.  Admitted to the Maryland bar, 1954.  Married; son George L. Russell III.

George L. Russell, Jr. was the first African-American to serve as associate judge of the Supreme Bench of Baltimore, from June 29, 1966 until January 2, 1968.  He went on to become the first African-American appointed city solicitor for Baltimore City and served from January 2, 1968 until 1974.  He was also the first black president of the Baltimore City Bar Association and the first African-American to run for mayor of Baltimore (1971).  Russell was a partner at Piper & Marbury and later became associated with the law offices of Peter G. Angelos in Baltimore, practicing in the areas of commercial litigation, white collar crime, products liability and toxic torts.  In 1990 the Bar Association of Baltimore City appointed him chair of the Russell Committee, formed to investigate the drug crisis and underfunding of the Baltimore City justice system.  In 1994 he was named by the governor to chair the 16-member Maryland Museum of African American History and Culture Commission, and served as chairman of the board of the Maryland African American Museum Corporation.  He chaired the Governor's Salary Commission in 1994 and in 1995 he chaired Baltimore's 13-member Judicial Nominating Commission.  He was a member of the board of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Maryland until 1995 and was a member of the Task Force to Review the State's Election Law in that year.  He was a member of the board of directors of Constellation Energy Group Inc. until 2001.  In 1995 he was honored with the Special Outstanding Achievement Award from the Maryland Bar Foundation, and in 1997 he received the Minority Law Partner Recognition Award from the NAACP.  He is a fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation and of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

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