Nor can any question his selflessness. He gives freely of himself, first with his family — Ms. Elias says he's the best grandfather she's ever seen — but also with his entire hometown. He has been blessed with great success, and he has made it his mission to give others the same gift. Mr. Schmoke, who is now president of the University of Baltimore, says Mr. Cryor is a "next-generation civil rights leader," whose work focuses on economic justice. "He's been excellent in opening doors of opportunity for people," Mr. Schmoke says. Morgan State University President David Wilson says Mr. Cryor's work with students goes far beyond an occasional guest lecture — he serves as a real mentor in what it means to be a leader. "He shows them that you can realize all your success without losing yourself in the process," Mr. Wilson says. Which gets back to his ability to connect to others. "For all his success," Mr. O'Malley says, "he's never a person who looks past an individual."