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Governor Blair Lee

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Office Dates:  Jun 04, 1977 - Jan 15, 1979

Succeeded

Born:  May 19, 1916

Passed:  Oct 25, 1985

Birth State:  Maryland

Party:  Democrat

Family:  Married Mathilde Boal; eight children

School(s):  Princeton University; George Washington University School of Law

Military Service:  Navy


BLAIR LEE III was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, on May 19, 1916. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Princeton University in 1938, with a major in American history. He studied law for two years before enlisting in the Navy. Between 1941 and 1945 he served in the naval reserve, ferrying supplies across the Atlantic. After World War II, Governor Lee became editor of the Maryland News, a weekly newspaper operated by his father, E. Brooke Lee, in Montgomery County. He was president of the Maryland Press Association in 1949. That same year Governor Lee was appointed vice-chairman and park commissioner for the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. He held that post until 1951, and was a member of the commission in 1965 and 1966. He served as executive officer of the National Capital Planning Commission (a federal agency serving Washington D.C., and environs) from 1951 to 1954. Lee was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1954 and served in that body until 1962. He was chosen Legislator of the Year in 1958 by the Maryland Legislative Correspondents Association. In 1966 he was elected to the Maryland Senate. Maryland voters approved a constitutional amendment in the 1970 general election establishing the office of Lieutenant Governor and elected Lee as the first holder of that office since 1868. He was reelected in 1974. Blair Lee became acting governro on June 4, 1977, when Governor Marvin Mandel stepped aside while preparing for his trial on charges of mail fraud and racketeering. He continued in this capacity until Governor Mandel resumed his position on January 15, 1979, two days before the expiration of his term. Lee also was acting governor briefly on January 16, 1979, to preside over the installation of Judge Rita C. Davidson, the first female appellate judge in Maryland. He passed away on October 25, 1985 and is buried at Rock Creek Cemetery in Washington, D.C.

Sources:

Papenfuse, Edward C., ed. Maryland Manual 1977-1978. Baltimore: 20th Century Printing Co., 1977.

Maryland State Archives