George Mason University

How a personal tragedy shaped the path of the Howard County Historical Society's leader

How a personal tragedy shaped the path of the Howard County Historical Society's leader

For Shawn Gladden, history adds a sense of purpose to life. The 43-year-old took the reins of the local historical society in 2013 after working at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.

Gladden, a West Friendship resident and father of two, shared how a personal tragedy helped lead him to this career, along with nine other insights into his background.

1. He played Little League with Ken Ulman.

Gladden was a typical Columbia kid whose family moved to Howard County when he was 5. Growing up, he played baseball with future County Executive Ken Ulman and became acquainted with Ian Kennedy, who now heads the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture...

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