Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr.
MSA SC 3520-12125
House of Delegates, Baltimore County, 1987-94
U.S. House of Representatives, 1995-2003
Governor of Maryland, 2003-2007
ROBERT L. EHRLICH, JR.
Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. was Maryland's 60th governor. Governor
Ehrlich was elected to lead Maryland in November 2002 after promising
to restore fiscal responsibility to state government and bring needed
change to a political monopoly that had dominated Annapolis for
decades. The Governor made good on his promises, turning $4 billion in
deficits into a $2.4 billion surplus and appointing the most
politically diverse and qualified cabinet in Maryland's history.
Growing up in Arbutus
Governor Ehrlich was born in 1957 in Arbutus, Maryland, a small,
working-class suburb of Baltimore City. His mother, Nancy, was a legal
secretary. Bob Sr., a former Marine and Korean War veteran, worked as a
commission salesman at Archway Ford in Baltimore for 37 years. In 1967,
the Ehrlich family moved out of an apartment and into a row house on
Dolores Avenue, where Mr. and Mrs. Ehrlich still live today.
Governor Ehrlich won scholarships to the Gilman School in Baltimore and
later to Princeton University. While at Gilman, Governor Ehrlich was
named captain of the football team and won all-state and all-American
honors. His academic and football success continued at Princeton
University, where he studied political science and co-captained the
football team. To make ends meet, he sold sandwiches door to door at
night, and worked construction jobs on the weekends. After graduating
from Princeton in 1979, Governor Ehrlich entered the Wake Forest
University School of Law, where he worked as an graduate assistant
football coach to earn extra money, while attending classes during the
After Governor Ehrlich finished law school in 1982, he moved back to
Maryland to work for the Baltimore law firm of Ober, Kaler, Grimes, and
Shriver, where he practiced for more than a decade. While working as an
attorney, Governor Ehrlich ran successfully for the House of Delegates,
where he was known for a collegial style that helped him build bridges
- and forge lasting friendships - across the political aisle. He was a
member of the House Judiciary Committee, the Joint Committee on
Legislative Ethics, and fought for the rights of children on the
Governor's Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.
In 1994, Bob Ehrlich was elected to the United States House of
Representatives. While serving in Congress, he helped craft the first
balanced budget in a generation, sponsored legislation to protect
innocent spouses from IRS abuse, authored legislation to help blind and
disabled citizens return to the workplace, and led efforts to stiffen
penalties on criminals convicted of gun violence. Congressman Ehrlich
was a leading advocate for small business owners and helped provide
record tax relief to the American people.
Bob Ehrlich's historic election as governor in 2002 ended the
monopoly's grasp on government and began a legacy of reform. In
addition to balancing the budget, Governor Ehrlich defeated $7.5
billion in tax hikes proposed by the Maryland General Assembly, while
increasing public school funding by record levels. He enacted
Maryland's first-ever charter schools law, establishing 15 charter
schools benefiting more than 3,000 students in just three years.
Governor Ehrlich doubled investments in college need-based
scholarships, helping 12,000 students go to college. The Chesapeake Bay
Foundation called Governor Ehrlich's Bay Restoration Act, “the most
important pollution-reducing initiative in the state in 20 years.” The
Governor's plan will reduce pollution into the Bay by seven million
pounds per year—cutting current levels nearly in half.
More than 100,000 net new private-sector jobs were created during his
time as Governor. Maryland's unemployment rate was one of the lowest in
the nation at approximately 4 percent and its welfare rate is at its
lowest level since 1962.
Governor Ehrlich is married to Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich, a former
assistant public defender and assistant state’s attorney. The Ehrlichs
are the proud parents of two sons, Drew and Joshua.
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