July 18, 2019

Senate Decades Series – 1970s Senator Fred Malkus

A member of the Maryland General Assembly for some 48 years, Senator Frederick Malkus truly left his mark on Annapolis and was a strong and steady leader for the Maryland Senate in the 1970s.

Born in 1913, Malkus would be a product of Dorchester County Public Schools then Western Maryland College and a tour of duty in World War II before making his way to the University of Maryland School of Law and earning his law degree in 1938.

His career in politics would be launched with service as a Member of the Maryland House of Delegates following the 1946 elections. Malkus would serve as a member of the House of Delegates from 1947-1951 before moving to the Maryland Senate where he’d spend parts of five decades serving from 1951-1994.  Malkus would serve as President Pro Tem of the Maryland Senate (the Presiding Officer of the Senate in the absence of the Senate President) from 1975-1994 concurrently with his standing committee service on both the Judicial Proceedings Committee and the Executive Nominations Committee.

A complex and thoughtful individual. Malkus truly represented the views of his district in a pragmatic style that often defied convention. For this thoughtful, pragmatic nature he was dubbed by many as one of the most “colorful patriarchs” ever known in Maryland State Government.

Widely recognized for his political and military service, Malkus was recognized on numerous occasions. For his time of service in World War II he’d receive five Battle Stars. In 1987, he’d become the first living Marylander to have a bridge named in his honor when the U.S. 50 Bridge over the Choptank River was dedicated to him. Culminating his career in public service, Malkus would receive the prestigious Maryland First Citizen Award from Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Jr. in 1992.

Malkus was clearly a principled and pragmatic leader for the Maryland Senate through the often tumultuous decade that was the 1970s.