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Maryland’s Steve Sachs, a giant in the legal community, will be missed | READER COMMENTARY

Stephen H. Sachs, who served as Maryland Attorney General from 1979-1987, speaks at the swearing in ceremony for Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh in the House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis. File. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun).
Stephen H. Sachs, who served as Maryland Attorney General from 1979-1987, speaks at the swearing in ceremony for Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh in the House of Delegates chamber in Annapolis. File. (Amy Davis/Baltimore Sun). (Amy Davis, Baltimore Sun)

As the nation mourns the loss of former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, we here in Maryland are just beginning to mourn the loss of Stephen H. Sachs who passed away on Wednesday (”Stephen H. Sachs, who prosecuted the Catonsville Nine and later was Maryland attorney general and law firm partner, dies,” Jan. 12).

While Steve was on the short side, he was truly a giant among men. His many successes as a lawyer in private practice first with his own firm and later with Wilmer Cutler & Pickering were overshadowed by his public service as U.S Attorney and Maryland Attorney General and in retirement as a tireless champion of the civil Gideon movement pressing for legal representation of the poor.

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Steve was an inspiring advocate for the value of public service and at my invitation spoke movingly on that subject to a room full of 500 municipal lawyers from around the country and then to the entire Baltimore City Law Department.

Yes, he was a terrific husband and father and loved his grandchildren. But most importantly, he made the world a better place and inspired many of us with his keen and unwavering ethical principles and dedication to public service. We will miss him.

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George Nilson, Chestertown

The writer is a former deputy attorney general and Baltimore city solicitor.

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