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Wes Moore to replace Carson as Hopkins commencement speaker

Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr.MedicineThe New York TimesJohns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University alum and best-selling author Wes Moore will replace Dr. Ben Carson as speaker at the university's School of Education commencement, officials said Wednesday, after the world-renowned neurosurgeon came under fire for his political views on same-sex marriage.

Carson stepped down this month as the commencement speaker for Hopkins' School of Education and School of Medicine, saying he did not want his recent controversies to become a distraction.

The famed Hopkins surgeon — who has expressed an interest in politics when he retires in June — was criticized by students and faculty for comments he made on a conservative news show.

In a television appearance, Carson compared homosexuals with the North American Man/Boy Love Association, a pedophile advocacy group, and those who engage in bestiality, in explaining his support of traditional marriage.

He voluntarily withdrew from the commencement honors April 10. In a letter, he apologized that his views may have been "hurtful," but not for sharing them.

Hopkins has not named a new speaker for the School of Medicine's commencement.

Moore, 34, a youth advocate, entrepreneur, Army combat veteran and Rhodes Scholar, graduated from Hopkins in 2001. His book "The Other Wes Moore," which documented the diverging paths taken by him and a Baltimore man who shared his name, became a New York Times bestseller.

After two years managing his production company in New York, Moore moved back to Baltimore in October with his wife, Dawn, and their daughter, Mia.

In a commentary piece published in The Baltimore Sun, Moore wrote that he hoped to help reinvigorate his hometown.

"The challenges that Baltimore (along with many other major American cities) faces don't blind me to the extraordinary municipality we live in and the extraordinary Baltimoreans we are surrounded by," he wrote. "I remain inspired by the hundreds of thousands of us who focus not only on what is wrong with us and on what we hope to be, but also celebrate who we already are."

erica.green@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EricaLG

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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