Mathias J. DeVito, former chairman and chief executive officer of the Rouse Co.

"At times he could be difficult and he would stop speaking to me. These were all his ploys to get something done he wanted. He was complex and not the easiest to do something with, but he goaded me to do my best. He would motivate me through his negative fresh air.

"In my career at Rouse, I met with mayors and governors across the country. Schaefer was one of a kind. He was tops in terms of his ability to imagine. He had a great design sense. He could be strange and unusual, but he had a savvy political sense. People trusted him because he had a legitimacy of purpose."

"One day he showed up at my house in Roland Park. He was checking on a drain."

Richard Berndt, attorney and adviser

"He set the gold standard of being a mayor. After the 1968 riots, he put us back together and gave us a sense of the future. He had a relentless drive and a personal sense of ownership of the job as mayor. His temper was one of his favorite tools. It was an attention-getter, demanding more. His character attracted an excellent team of Schaefer marines. He also had a keen sense of the value of physical improvements. He understood the importance of the human dynamic of 'Schaefer was here.'"

Former Rep. Helen Delich Bentley

"Nobody else would have had that much determination and the guts to go ahead and {rebuild the Inner Harbor}. He was criticized and he was attacked but he knew it had to be done and went ahead and did it… . He was definitely a big supporter of the port. He did a lot of international travel on behalf of the port of Baltimore. He knew what it took to get business and he went after it. . . He was a veteran of World War II. When our troops came home from the first Gulf War . . . [to Towson] the only people to meet them were Governor Schaefer and myself.. . . We were both crying,"

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

. "He came to a lot of Republican events. . . He was known and loved by people on both sides of the aisle." Bartlett said he first became aware of Schaefer when he jumped into the aquarium's seal pool, but said generations would remember him for the development at the Inner Harbor. "I hope that those who go to the Inner Harbor know that it wouldn't be there if it weren't for William Donald Schaefer. I will always remember him when I go there...This is a passing of an era."

Rep. C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger

"A master of politics, he reminded those of us in office to never forget the constituents we represent. From potholes to Baltimore's magnificent Inner Harbor, he worked hard every day to improve his community. His colorful personality has contributed to some of Maryland's most memorable moments and he will be sorely missed."

Rep. John Sarbanes

"I think his legacy is that he was a man of action. He was a leader who had a genuine love for his job -- whatever it was, whether it was being the mayor or comptroller or governor...The public benefited from that fact.

State Sen. Jim Rosapepe

I remember going to see him in the early 1990's, in the middle of that decade's recession, asking his help for working class employees of the University and the state. At the urging of the budget hawks of the era, he and the legislature were shifting workers to forty hours work for thirty five hours pay. The proposal was understandable — but making the change for working parents with only weeks' notice was silly and cruel. I went to see him, one on one, to make the case for them. He listened intently. Then he simply said, 'You're right. We can't do that to them. We'll delay it so people can deal with it.' And that's what happened.

Sandy Hillman, longtime Schaefer mayoral aide

"People never understood what a brilliant manager he was. He was a man of courage and vision. He had incredible political instinct; he was a public servant not a politician he did risky and courageous things. He was a common guy, no airs."

Robert L. Bogomolny, president of the University of Baltimore

William Donald Schaefer was a consistent supporter of UB and its mission as an education institution in an urban environment. He was a leader, and he led with the kind of positive energy and can-do spirit that I greatly admire. He had strong, deep connections to the city, and to UB - his alma mater."