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The First Citizen Award

First Citizen Award Medal        

Awarded by the president of the Maryland Senate to Marylanders who have been dedicated and effective participants in the process of making government work for the benefit of all. The award is named for Charles Carroll of Carrollton, who wrote a series of influential letters published in 1773 in the Maryland Gazette under the name "First Citizen." At the time, Carroll, as a Roman Catholic, was barred from public office, but his First Citizen letters launched a long career of public service. He was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, helped shape Maryland's first Constitution, and served in the State Senate, Continental Congress and U.S. Senate.

In his First Citizen letters, Carroll strongly defended the idea of an independent legislature and argued that government must work for the benefit of all. He called for a radical restructuring of government based on the advice and consent of the people, ideas which contributed to the coming of the American Revolution.

The First Citizen Award features an image of the commemorative medal, shown above, commissioned for Carroll in 1826 in honor of his public service. It is presented in a ceremony in the Senate by the State Archivist, on behalf of the president of the Senate, William C. Ferguson IV.

1992 Frederick C. Malkus, Jr.
1993 Louis L. Goldstein and Margaret Schweinhaut
1994 James Clark, Jr.; John A. Cade; and Clarence Blount
1995 Charles H. Smelser and William C. Richardson
1996 Judge Robert C. Murphy and Judge Robert F. Sweeney
1997 Julian Lapides and Oden Bowie
1998 William E. Kirwan and Melvin A. Steinberg
1999 F. Vernon Boozer and Rosalie Silber Abrams
2000 Not awarded
2001 Barbara Hoffman, Robert Neall, and Earl Richardson
2002 Richard N. Dixon, Thomas L. Bromwell, and Walter M. Baker
2003 Casper R. Taylor, Jr. and Bishop L. Robinson, Sr.
2004 Benjamin C. Bradlee, William Henry Cardinal Keeler, and Howard "Pete" Rawlings
2005 Joseph D. Tydings and Charles McC. Mathias
2006 Bernie Fowler, Martin G. Madden, and J. Frank Raley
2007 J. Joseph Curran, Jr. and William Donald Schaefer
2008 Not awarded
2009 Nathaniel J. McFadden; J. Lowell Stoltzfus; and Norman R. Stone, Jr.
2010 Freeman A. Hrabowski III and C. Daniel Mote, Jr.
2011 Brian E. Frosh and Thomas McLain Middleton
2012 Michael E. Busch, Joan Carter Conway, and Joy R. Walker
2013 Helen Delich Bentley, Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and Victoria L. Gruber
2014 Not awarded
2015 David R. Brinkley, Ulysses Currie, and Edward J. Kasemeyer
2016 Not awarded
2017 Delores G. Kelley, Nancy J. King, and Katherine A. Klausmeier
2018Judge Mary Ellen Barbera, Wallace Loh, and David Wilson
2019 Rushern L. Baker III; James E. (Ed) DeGrange, Sr.;
Nancy Jacobs; and Richard S. Madaleno, Jr.
2020 Not awarded
2021 Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, Jr. (posthumous); David R. Craig; Shirley Nathan-Pulliam; and Jamie Raskin
2022 Beverly Hiltabidle and Ronald N. Young
2023 Adelaide C. Eckardt, Larry S. Gibson, and Paul G. Pinsky