What Marylander had the biggest impact on the state in 2014? The Sun is asking for your nominations for the 2014 Marylander of the Year. Please send them to email@example.com and include "Marylander of the Year" in the subject line. We'll announce the finalists in mid-December and a winner before the end of the year. As inspiration, here's the roster of The Sun's previous honorees.
1987: Steven Muller
Johns Hopkins President Steven Muller won The Sun's inaugural Marylander of the Year award at a time when the university was undergoing a major expansion. The editors wrote, "Mr. Muller is your ordinary, next-door, 60-year-old, former child refugee from Nazi persecution, teen-age Hollywood actor, Rhodes Scholar, Cornell Ph.D., political scientist and German expert whose relentless drive, intelligence, vision, institutional ambition, smooth tongue and grasp of the possible have prodded this amazing growth with quality control, reaching out to new corners and up to new heights."
1998: Vincent DeMarco
Now well known as one of Annapolis' most effective lobbyists in his role as president of the Maryland Citizens Health Initiative, Vinnie DeMarco was, in The Sun's 1988 estimation, a modest cog in the state bureaucracy who had risen to become the essential element in the coalition that won support in the legislature and the public for landmark restrictions on Saturday Night Specials. He was, as his boss at the time, Attorney General Joe Curran, said, "a 'cause person,' who can communicate his sense of what is right -- and possible -- to others."
1989: Anne Tyler
Anne Tyler won the Marylander of the Year award in the same year that her novel, Breathing Lessons, won the Pulitzer Prize and that The Accidental Tourist became a hit movie. "You probably do not live in Anne Tyler's Baltimore," the editors wrote. "It is better visited than lived within. It is a place of her imagination, created with craft and precision inside the Baltimore we all know and share. It is the creation of a woman who is also crafting a position in American letters. Each novel is acclaimed a minor gem, the lot a major body of work still growing. There are only a handful of writers for whom Baltimore will remain known. Anne Tyler is the latest."
1990: Robert Linowes
Montgomery County development attorney Robert Linowes was named Marylander of the Year in 1990 for the work of a commission he chaired that sought to create a fairer, more equitable state tax system. "Mr. Linowes, at 65, did not have to take on this immense and thankless chore; it was not going to please his neighbors. But once committed, characteristically, he did it right. The energy, intelligence and loyalty that had served Montgomery County and Washington became Maryland's. The reports b y Mr. Linowes' panel have set Maryland's agenda. Its conclusions, if not adopted, must be answered."
1991: Cal Ripken Jr.
Cal Ripken was The Sun's Marylander of the Year in 1991 after a season in which he was the All-Star game MVP, American League MVP and Sporting News and AP Player of the Year. And he won a Gold Glove. Oh, and he and his wife raised another $200,000 for an adult literacy charity they had started two years before. "Players can have great years, and good careers, without making the leap to legendhood. (Roger Maris, for example, is not in the Hall of Fame.) For those few who manage to make the leap, it is even rarer when you can point to one transcendent season and say: This is the year it happened. It happened in 1991 for Cal Ripken because he added a brilliant season to a career in which he has demonstrated amazing consistency on the field and admirable citizenship off it."
1992: Bea Gaddy
Before she became a member of the City Council, The Sun recognized Baltimore's self-designated advocate and helper for the homeless, poor and infirm, Bea Gaddy, as Marylander of the Year. "Miss Bea is the kind of person she helps. She has been homeless in New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, jobless and hopeless in Baltimore, rooting in garbage cans to feed five children. The help she desperately wanted then, she provide4s today. Others preach the Golden Rule; Bea Gaddy lives it."
1993: James W. Rouse
Fourteen years after he retired as CEO of the company that bears his name, The Baltimore Sun recognized developer James W. Rouse as Marylander of the Year for the work of his Enterprise Foundation. That year, the foundation increased its profile in Baltimore, working with other groups to revive the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of West Baltimore. "A partnership that put up 227 units in 1993 for moderate income people now embraces community activism, health delivery, community schools, career development, neighborhood policing and more than 50 projects. It is hard to define James W. Rouse's continuing personal role, as founder-chairman of the Enterprise Foundation, except to say that he makes people believe. He lends his credibility and contacts and ideas. For lack of a better label, he is called a visionary."
1994: Cardinal William Keeler
The Sun named William H. Keeler Marylander of the year when he was elevated to cardinal by Pope John Paul II, a position that reaffirmed Baltimore's importance as the seat of American Catholicism. "For leadership in interfaith dialogue, for strengthening the Archdiocese of Baltimore and for restoring Baltimore's prominence in the Church to what history (but no longer size) requires, Cardinal William H. Keeler is The Baltimore Sun's Marylander of the Year. He has been a preeminent force for good will and understanding since becoming a Marylander five years ago."
1995: Kweisi Mfume
Former Congressman Kweisi Mfume became The Sun's Marylander of the Year in 1995, when he took over leadership of the NAACP. The venerable civil rights organization had fallen on hard times, both because of financial mismanagement and because it was increasingly viewed as irrelevant to young African-Americans. The choice of Mr. Mfume "seemed so perfect that just the announcement was enough to re-energize the organization in ways that even last year's naming of the widow of NAACP martyr Medgar Evers as its chairman did not. Mr. Mfume isn't even on the job yet and he has begun to turn the NAACP around. The remaining task is to steer a course that will restore the organization's vitality in continuing the fight for equal justice for all Americans. Mr. Mfume is up to the challenge. His whole life seems to have been mapped out for this day, for accepting leadership of the NAACP."
1996: Cast and crew of "Homicide"
Proclaiming that "as cop shows go, it's the best ever," The Sun named the cast and crew of "Homicide" its Marylanders of the Year for 1996. A hint of what would later become a municipal ambivalence about Baltimore's fame as a setting for fictional crime drama crept into the laudatory words for the long-running NBC show, but the award validated the tremendous amount of good the show did for the city artistically and economically. The show celebrated "real, contemporary Balitmore" in such a true way, the editors noted, that "a real fleeing shoplifter ran onto a film location and surrendered to actors, while production executives seeking a site for a crack house stumbled into a real crack house." Looking back nearly two decades later, it's clear that Baltimore's thriving local film industry owes much of its existence to that one show.
1997: Nancy Grasmick, Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings and Walter Sondheim
The biggest achievement of the 1997 General Assembly session was a landmark agreement to provide higher funding for Baltimore City schools in exchange for increased state oversight. The Sun recognized three people who made that happen Walter Sondheim and Nancy Grasmick and Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings. "As in any long-term initiative, many people have played significant roles. But three people deserve special praise — state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick, State Board of Education member Walter Sondheim Jr., and Del. Howard 'Pete' Rawlings, the city legislator who chairs the House Appropriations Committee and who shaped a funding agreement acceptable to his colleagues and the governor, while persuading hostile city officials to accept new measures of education accountability."
1998: Peter G. Angelos
In 1998, The Sun concluded that attorney Peter G. Angelos could easily be named Marylander of the Decade. But he had a pretty good year, too, representing Maryland in its massive settlement with tobacco companies, shaking up the Orioles, spearheading planned revitalization of the west side of downtown, purchasing and preserving the most visible horse farm in Maryland, and underwriting various religious and artistic charities. "No one in memory has invested in Baltimore on that scale," the editors wrote. "Few have given such philanthropy, and very few have tried to exercise such influence."
1999: Freeman Hrabowski
University of Maryland Baltimore County President Freeman A. Hrabowski III earned the 1999 Marylander of the Year award for "his energy and missionary zeal to champion two trends that have transformed UMBC. On one of these he is a national authority. That is recruiting and nurturing excellence in mathematics and science among African-American men. The second is public university-private industry partnerships to spur technology, job opportunities and regional development."
2000: Bill Struever
In 2000, The Sun named developer Bill Struever Marylander of the Year because he "adopts buildings that others have discarded, neglected or marked for destruction. He sees what they want to be, what purpose these abandoned hulks might serve in the communities that surround them. And with single-minded resolve, he helps them fulfill that potential."
2001: The Ravens
The Ravens won the Super Bowl and (collectively) Marylander of the Year in 2001. "That heady triumph in January validated the return of a champion's mindset to Baltimore. It made us feel good again about where we live and who we are, and in some distant way made us believe in this place again."
2002: John Waters
In 2002, Hairspray became a Broadway smash, and John Waters became The Sun's Marylander of the Year. "Until last August, Baltimore's principal claim to fame for the year 2002 was that it led the league in Wheels Falling Off Buses. But then Hairspray opened on Broadway and became a big hit — the biggest hit of the season — and suddenly there was a national spotlight shining down on a raucous, big-hearted, cross-dressing, mashed-potato-dancing version of the city's hidden, happy self. Who wouldn't feel better about that?"
2012: Buck Showalter
After a decade's hiatus, The Sun resumed honoring Marylanders of the Year in 2012 with Orioles manager Buck Showalter, whose leadership helped bring the team back to the post-season for the first time in 15 years. "Mr. Showalter's business is, of course, a boy's game played by millionaires. But it is also one of the rare things that can bind every part of this community together, a tradition that knits one generation to the next. No Marylander brought more unexpected joy to this town in 2012 than Buck Showalter."
2013: Ben Jealous
When Benjamin Todd Jealous took over the NAACP in 2008, the organization had fallen on hard times, and he wasn't necessarily the obvious candidate to restore it to its old glory. He was "a 35-year-old, biracial foundation president from California who was born a decade after the civil rights movement's greatest triumphs. To call his selection controversial would be an understatement." But last year, he left "the NAACP a changed institution. Its finances are stabilized, its membership is up and its role in American public life is clear and forceful. Mr. Jealous brought energy, vision and focus to an organization in need of all three and showed a new generation that the pursuit of social justice remains a vital cause." In the meantime, he was a powerful force in Maryland's decisions to abolish the death penalty, enact marriage equality and allow in-state tuition for some undocumented immigrants.