Mandel, Marvin

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MANDEL, MARVIN (1920– ), U.S. politician. Mandel, born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of East European immigrants, was raised in an Orthodox, Yiddish-speaking home. After graduation from Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland (1942) and service in the army during World War ii, Mandel practiced law in Baltimore until his election to the lower house of the Maryland legislature in 1951. In 1963 he was chosen speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, and also served as chairman of the Maryland State Democratic Committee. As speaker, he was credited with helping push through the legislature tax reform, a fair housing law, and the repeal of the state anti-miscegenation law. When Spiro T. Agnew, Maryland's Republican governor, was elected vice president of the United States in 1968, Mandel was elected governor (Democrat) by legislature vote. Reelected twice (in 1970 and 1974), he served as governor until 1979. He also served as chair of the Comprehensive Health Planning Agency (1969); the Governor's Executive Council (1969–79); the Board of Public Works (1969–79); and the Maryland Council on the Environment (1970–79). In addition, Mandel was a member of such entities as the State House Trust (1969); the Hall of Records Commission (1969–70); the Maryland Highway Safety Coordinating Committee (1969–79); the Maryland Education Council (1969–79); and the Southern Regional Education Board (1969–79).

In 1977 Mandel was found guilty of mail fraud, racketeering, and bribery, for which he served 19 months in prison. He was pardoned by President Ronald Reagan; in 1989 the Supreme Court overturned his conviction.

Among his honors and awards, Mandel received the House of Delegates Thomas Kennedy Award in 2002. From 2003 he served as chair of the Governor's Commission on the Structure and Efficiency of State Government and a member of the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland. A former state commander of the Jewish War Veterans, Mandel was active in Jewish communal affairs.

add. bibliography:

J. Bradford, Thimbleriggers: The Law vs Governor Marvin Mandel (1984).

[Bernard Postal /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]