Paul Sarbanes

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Paul Sarbanes
Paul Sarbanes, official color photo.jpg
United States Senator
from Maryland
In office
January 3, 1977 – January 3, 2007
Preceded by John Glenn Beall, Jr.
Succeeded by Ben Cardin
Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
In office
June 6, 2001 – January 3, 2003
Preceded by Phil Gramm
Succeeded by Richard Shelby
In office
January 3, 2001 – January 20, 2001
Preceded by Phil Gramm
Succeeded by Phil Gramm
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 3rd district
In office
January 3, 1973 – January 3, 1977
Preceded by Edward Garmatz
Succeeded by Barbara Mikulski
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 4th district
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1973
Preceded by George Hyde Fallon
Succeeded by Marjorie Holt
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
In office
Personal details
Born Paul Spyros Sarbanes
(1933-02-03) February 3, 1933 (age 85)
Salisbury, Maryland
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Christine Dunbar
Children John
Michael Anthony
Janet Matina
Residence Baltimore, Maryland
Alma mater Princeton University
Balliol College, Oxford
Harvard Law School
Occupation Attorney
Religion Greek Orthodox

Paul Spyros Sarbanes (born February 3, 1933), is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party from Maryland who served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1977 and as a United States Senator from 1977 to 2007. Sarbanes is the longest-serving senator in Maryland history, a record that will be met by Barbara Mikulski when her term ends on January 3, 2017.

Born in Salisbury, Maryland, Sarbanes is a graduate of Princeton University, Balliol College and Harvard Law School. Elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1966, he went on to serve two terms in the Maryland House from 1967 to 1971. In 1970, he won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, representing Maryland's 4th and later Maryland's 3rd congressional district from 1971 to 1977. In 1976, he ran for the United States Senate, defeating Republican incumbent John Glenn Beall, Jr. with 59% of the vote. Sarbanes was re-elected four times, each time with receiving no less than 59% of the vote. He did not seek re-election in 2006, when he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Ben Cardin. Sarbanes was known for his low-key style,[1] often shunning the limelight over his 30-year Senate career. In 2002, Sarbanes co-sponsored the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, which is cited as his most-noted sponsored piece of legislation.[2][3]

Early life and family

Senator Sarbanes congratulates US troops as they depart the new state-of-the-art USO International Gateway Lounge at Thurgood Marshall BWI airport.

Paul Sarbanes was born on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the city of Salisbury to Greek parents, Matina (née Tsigounis) and Spyros P. Sarbanes, who had emigrated from Laconia, Greece and owned a Salisbury restaurant.[4]

A graduate of Wicomico High School in Salisbury, Maryland, Sarbanes attended Princeton University, earning a bachelor's degree in 1954. As a senior he received the Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, Princeton's highest undergraduate honor. He also was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship that brought him to Balliol College of the University of Oxford in Oxford, England, graduating with a First Class degree in 1957. Sarbanes then returned to the United States and attended Harvard Law School.

After graduating in 1960, he clerked for Federal Judge Morris A. Soper before entering private practice with two Baltimore, Maryland law firms. In June 1960, Sarbanes married Christine Dunbar of Brighton, England; they have three children (John Sarbanes, Michael Anthony Sarbanes, and Janet Matina Sarbanes) and seven grandchildren. Christine Sarbanes died of cancer on March 22, 2009. Sarbanes holds the highest lay office in the Greek Orthodox Church, "Order of St. Andrew, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate"[5] and is a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore.[6]

His son, John Sarbanes, won the general election for Maryland's 3rd congressional district in 2006, the district that Paul Sarbanes represented prior to his election as senator.

Political career

In 1966, Sarbanes ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in Baltimore City and won. During his four years as a State delegate in Annapolis, Maryland he served on both the Judiciary and the Ways and Means Committees.[6]

He was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1970 from the fourth district of Maryland and was reelected in 1972 and 1974 from the third district. While in the House, Sarbanes served on the Judiciary Committee, the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, and the Select Committee on House Reorganization. It was during his service in the House, in August 1974, that Sarbanes was selected by his Democratic colleagues on the House Watergate Committee to introduce the first Article of Impeachment, for obstruction of justice, against President Richard Nixon.

Before the signing ceremony of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, President George W. Bush meets with Senator Sarbanes, Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao and other dignitaries in the Blue Room of the White House July 30, 2002.

In 1976, Sarbanes was elected to the United States Senate and re-elected in 1982, 1988, 1994 and 2000. In 2002, Sarbanes was the Senate sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which reformed federal securities laws in the wake of the 2002 accounting scandals.

Sarbanes served on the following Senate committees:

On March 11, 2005, Sarbanes, the longest serving senator in Maryland history, announced at a news conference his decision not to seek re-election in 2006.[7] Colleagues of Sarbanes said that the reason for his retirement from the Senate was due to his annoyance with not having any leadership roles on committees.[8] When the 110th Congress convened in 2007, he was succeeded by Ben Cardin. For more information, see United States Senate election in Maryland, 2006.

The Senator received the Foreign Language Advocacy Award in 2007 from the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the values, languages, and cultures of the ancient world in service to the modern world.[9]

Election history

Year Office sought Election Subject Party Votes  % Opponent Party Votes  %
1970 Maryland's 4th congressional district General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 93,093 69.7% David Fentress Republican 40,442 30.3%
1972 Maryland's 3rd congressional district General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 93,218 83.8% William Matthews Republican 17,967 16.2%
1974 Maryland's 3rd congressional district General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 54,936 70.1% Republican 23,491 29.9%
1976 U.S. Senator, Class 1 General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 772,101 59.3% John Glenn Beall, Jr. (incumbent) Republican 530,439 40.7%
1982 U.S. Senator, Class 1 General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 707,356 63.5% Lawrence Hogan Republican 407,334 36.5%
1988 U.S. Senator, Class 1 General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 999,166 61.8% Alan Keyes Republican 617,537 38.2%
1994 U.S. Senator, Class 1 General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 809,125 59.1% Bill Brock Republican 559,908 40.9%
2000 U.S. Senator, Class 1 General Paul Sarbanes Democratic 1,230,013 63.2% Paul Rappaport Republican 715,178 36.8%



Earlier photograph of Senator Sarbanes.
  1. Charles Babington (March 12, 2005). "Cerebral Sarbanes Aloof to Limelight". 
  2. Greg Farrell (July 30, 2007). "The men behind the Sarbanes-Oxley Act". 
  3. Dick Carozza. "An Interview with Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes Sarbanes-Oxley Act Revisited". 
  4. "Paul S. Sarbanes, U. S. Senator (bio)" (PDF). National Institutes of Health. 
  5. "Archbishop Demetrios presides at Investiture of Twenty-Two New Archons | Order of Saint Andrew the Apostle - Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate". 2008-10-26. Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Paul S. Sarbanes, U.S. Senator (Maryland)". Retrieved 2013-08-11. 
  7. Kirkpatrick, David K. (March 12, 2005). "Senator Sarbanes, Maryland Democrat, Will Retire in '06". The New York Times. 
  8. Kirkpatrick, David (12 March 2005). "Senator Sarbanes, Maryland Democrat, Will Retire in '06". New York Times. Retrieved 8 October 2014. 
  9. "The James W. Dodge Foreign Language Advocate Award". Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 

External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
George Hyde Fallon
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 4th congressional district

Succeeded by
Marjorie Holt
Preceded by
Edward Garmatz
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 3rd congressional district

Succeeded by
Barbara Mikulski
United States Senate
Preceded by
John Glenn Beall, Jr.
U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Maryland
Served alongside: Charles Mathias, Barbara Mikulski
Succeeded by
Ben Cardin
Political offices
Preceded by
Phil Gramm
Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee
Succeeded by
Richard Shelby
Party political offices
Preceded by
Joseph Tydings
Democratic nominee for United States Senator from Maryland
(Class 1)

1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000
Succeeded by
Ben Cardin