Harry Hughes

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Harry Hughes
Maryland Governor Harry Hughes speaking at Fort Belvoir, Feb 16, 1988.jpg
57th Governor of Maryland
In office
January 17, 1979 – January 21, 1987
Lieutenant Samuel Bogley
J. Joseph Curran Jr.
Preceded by Marvin Mandel
Succeeded by William Donald Schaefer
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
In office
Member of the Maryland Senate
In office
Personal details
Born Harry Roe Hughes
(1926-11-13)November 13, 1926
Easton, Maryland, U.S.
Died Script error: The function "death_date_and_age" does not exist.
Denton, Maryland, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Patricia Donoho (m. 1951; d. 2010)
Children 2
Education Mount St. Mary's University
University of Maryland, College Park (BA)
George Washington University (JD)
Military service
Allegiance  United States
Service/branch  United States Navy
Years of service 1944–1945
Battles/wars World War II

Harry Roe Hughes (November 13, 1926 – March 13, 2019) was an American politician from the Democratic Party who served as the 57th Governor of Maryland from 1979 to 1987.[1][2]

Early life and family

Hughes was born in Easton, Maryland, the son of Helen (Roe) and Jonathan Longfellow Hughes.[3] Hughes attended Caroline County, Maryland, public schools before attending the Mercersburg Academy in Mercersburg, Pennsylvania. After school, Hughes served in the U.S. Naval Air Corps during the Second World War.[4]

After the War, Hughes continued his education by attending Mount Saint Mary's University and the University of Maryland, from which he graduated in 1949. At Maryland he was a member of the Alpha Psi chapter of the Theta Chi social fraternity. He received his law degree from The George Washington University Law School in 1952 and was admitted to the Maryland Bar the same year. Hughes married his wife, Patricia Donoho Hughes, on June 30, 1951. They have two daughters, Ann and Elizabeth. Patricia Hughes died on January 20, 2010, in Denton at the age of 79.[5]

Prior to his election as governor, Hughes was an attorney and one-time professional baseball player in the Eastern Shore League.[6] From 1966 to 1970, Hughes was the chairman of Maryland Democratic State Central Committee.

Political career

Hughes began his political career as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1955 to 1959, representing Caroline County. He was elected a member of the Maryland Senate in 1958 and served until 1970[7] for district 15, representing Caroline, Cecil, Kent, Queen Anne's, and Talbot counties. In 1971, Hughes was offered and accepted the position of Secretary of Transportation for the state. In May 1977, however, Hughes resigned from his position because of a disagreement in the State Department of Transportation regarding the award of a construction contract for a subway in Baltimore City.[7][8]

Hughes was elected governor in 1978 after defeating Lieutenant Governor Blair Lee III in the Democratic primary election,[7] and Republican John Glenn Beall, Jr. in the general election.[8] Among other things, Hughes was a strong advocate for the Chesapeake Bay. He signed into law such legislation as that approving the Chesapeake Bay Agreement, which set into motion efforts to restore the Bay and recover from excessive fishing.[8]

Also during his administration, Maryland initiated foreign trade with China. The Savings and Loan crisis, involving the failure of many savings and loan organizations across the United States, hit Maryland near the end of Hughes' tenure with the run at Old Court Savings and Loans, but nevertheless steps were taken to insure Maryland savings and loans organizations.[citation needed] Hughes served two terms, defeating Republican challenger Robert A. Pascal in 1982, and concluded his governorship in 1987.

In 1986, Hughes and Congressman Michael D. Barnes both unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Charles "Mac" Mathias. They lost to Barbara Mikulski, who went on to win the general election.[9]

Later career

Hughes was a member of the Chesapeake Bay Trust from 1995 to 2003; a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland from 1996 to 2000; the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Citizens Pfiesteria Commission in 1997; the chairman of the Maryland Appellate Judicial Nominating Commission from 1999 to 2003; and a member of the Committee to Establish the Maryland Survivors Scholarship Fund from 2001 to 2002.[citation needed] Hughes was a member of the Advisory Committee for the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy's Board of Directors.[10]

Hughes published an autobiography in 2006.[11]

Harry Hughes died on March 13, 2019, aged 92.[12]

See also

  • Ann Hull, Hughes' executive assistant from 1979 to 1985 and chair of Hughes' Governor's Commission to Revise the Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Laws.


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  2. Harry R. Hughes biography. December 9, 1998. Maryland State Archives. accessed October 25, 2004.
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External links

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for Governor of Maryland
1978, 1982
Succeeded by
William Donald Schaefer
Preceded by Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party
Succeeded by
Peter B. Krauser
Political offices
Preceded by Governor of Maryland
Succeeded by
William Donald Schaefer