Former U.S. Sen. Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.) “passed away peacefully” Sunday night in Baltimore, his son, U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.) announced.
“Our family is grateful to know that we have the support of Marylanders who meant so much to him and whom he was honored to serve,” the younger Sarbanes said of his father.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan in a statement recognized Sarbanes’ dedication to the people of Maryland.
“Paul Sarbanes honorably served alongside my father on the House Judiciary Committee during Watergate before going on to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate. Over his many decades of public service, Sen. Sarbanes was a sincere and passionate advocate for our state and its natural resources,” Hogan said.
Senator Paul Sarbanes was a sincere and passionate advocate for our state and its natural resources. Today, we mourn his loss and send our deepest sympathies to his family.
My full statement: pic.twitter.com/HJtOKgG0rt
— Governor Larry Hogan (@GovLarryHogan) December 7, 2020
Hogan ordered the state flag to fly at half-staff on the day that Sarbanes is buried.
Rep. John Sarbanes said that his family will hold a private service “in the coming days” in accordance with state, local and public health guidance in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson said in a post on Facebook that Sarbanes’ name was synonymous with the state senate.
“Growing up in Maryland means that any thought of the U.S. Senate immediately associates thoughts of Senator Paul Sarbanes. The two are intertwined in history for Marylanders. Senator Sarbanes’ record speaks for itself, he was a champion for the people and the environment.”
Ferguson recounted being in awe when in Sarbanes’ presence.
“Since entering public service, I’ve had the chance to meet with Senator Sarbanes at numerous events and gatherings. I don’t get nervous often, but every time Senator Sarbanes was around, I always found myself feeling a bit star struck,” Ferguson said. “He embodied the best of public service – a man who cared so deeply, loved his wonderful family, and believed in building the capacity of others. His legacy will inspire for generations to come. Thank you, Senator Paul Sarbanes, for your service, you will truly be missed.”
Maryland House Speaker Adrienne Jones said in a post on Facebook that “all of us lost a great Marylander” on Sunday.
“Sen. Paul Sarbanes’ decades-long service to Maryland had a profound impact on our state. His quiet but steadfast leadership was a model for so many of us that came behind him,” she said.
U.S. Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) in a statement recounted some of Sarbanes’ accomplishments for Maryland and the nation, including preserving the Chesapeake Bay, increasing affordable housing, and writing the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to combat corporate fraud.
“Today we mourn the loss of the son of Greek immigrants who rose from humble roots on Maryland’s Eastern Shore to make an important and lasting impact on our entire country and help millions of his fellow Americans – Paul Sarbanes. Both during his time serving in the House of Delegates and as our state’s second-longest serving United States Senator, Paul Sarbanes was a tireless advocate on behalf of all Marylanders.”
Van Hollen also remembered the mentorship that he received from Sarbanes.
“On a personal note, I will never forget Paul’s kindness when I worked with him as a staff member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 1980s, or his mentorship during my first term in the House, and his willingness to offer advice and counsel when I was elected to the Senate in 2016. He was a role model for me and so many others who believe that public service is a noble calling,” Van Hollen said.
From humble roots to the U.S. Senate, Paul Sarbanes made a big, positive difference in the lives of all—from protecting the Chesapeake Bay to affordable housing to consumer protection. He was a role model for me and many others. Condolences to his entire family. pic.twitter.com/iOmKYVtgQ5
— Senator Chris Van Hollen (@ChrisVanHollen) December 7, 2020
Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young said he was “deeply saddened” to hear that Sarbanes had passed away.
“He was a dedicated public servant with almost 4 decades of service to the state he loved and called home,” Young tweeted.
Young went on to say that Sarbanes was “my type of politician.”
“[H]e was more focused on the people and the policy rather than the press conferences,” Young said.
Senator Sarbanes was my type of politician, he was more focused on the people and the policy rather than the press conferences. Our sincere condolences go out to @RepSarbanes, Janet, Michael, and the rest of his family at this difficult time.
— Mayor Bernard C. Jack Young (@mayorbcyoung) December 7, 2020
Mayor-elect Brandon Scott, who will be sworn in as mayor of Baltimore on Tuesday, in a statement acknowledged Sarbanes’ contributions to Baltimore.
“I am saddened to hear of the passing of Senator Paul Sarbanes. The 2nd-longest serving Senator in Maryland history, Senator Sarbanes embodied public service and was deeply loved and respected by Baltimoreans, and Marylanders across the state. As a State Delegate in Baltimore’s 2nd District, he was dedicated to his constituents and left a long-lasting mark on those he served. Senator Sarbanes was a lifelong Baltimorean and will be truly missed.”
I am saddened to hear of the passing of Senator Paul Sarbanes. The 2nd-longest serving Senator in Maryland history, Senator Sarbanes embodied public service and was deeply loved and respected by Balimoreans, and Marylanders across the state. pic.twitter.com/82M19n25jC
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) December 7, 2020
“Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Paul Sarbanes. He represented the best of us,” Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. tweeted, with a photo of himself with Sen. Paul Sarbanes, Rep. John Sarbanes.
Deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Senator Paul Sarbanes. He represented the best of us. pic.twitter.com/7oIdceRDEd
— Johnny Olszewski, Jr. (@JohnnyOJr) December 7, 2020
U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who was born in Baltimore, said in a statement that Sarbanes’ 40 years of “tireless service … strengthened our nation and made a difference in the lives of countless Americans.”
“In Congress, Paul Sarbanes was respected by his colleagues on both sides of the aisle for his humility, tenacity and keen intellect. It was a source of great pride for me that his Congressional career began in the same House seat held by my father,” Pelosi said.
May it be a comfort to the entire Sarbanes family that so many mourn their loss and pray for them at this time. https://t.co/oeqMz0O9SB
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) December 7, 2020