Governor of Maryland, January 15, 2003 to January 17, 2007.
Chair, Board of Public Works, 2003-07. Chair, Governor's Executive Council, 2003-07. Member, State Commission on the Capital City, 2003-07; Maryland Environmental Trust, 2003-07; Rural Maryland Council, 2003-07; Maryland Veterans Home Commission, 2003-07; Governor's Workforce Investment Board, 2003-07. Member, Appalachian Regional Commission, 2003-07; Education Commission of the States, 2003-07 (Maryland Education Council); Interstate Mining Commission, 2003-07; Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission, 2003-07; Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, 2003-07; Southern States Energy Board, 2003-07; Susquehanna River Basin Commission, 2003-07. Member, Southern Regional Education Board, 2003-07. Member, National Infrastructure Advisory Council, 2003-07. Chair, Chesapeake Executive Council, 2005-07 (member, 2003-07).
Governor Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr., January 2003. Photo by Richard Lippenholz.
Member, House of Delegates, representing District 10 (Baltimore County) 1987-95. Member, Judiciary Committee, 1987-95; Tort and Insurance Reform Oversight Committee, 1991-93; Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, 1991-95.
Member, Governor's Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, 1987-94; Maryland Juvenile Justice Advisory Council, 1990-93; Task Force on the Charles H. Hickey, Jr. School, 1991; Governor's Advisory Board for Justice Administration, 1994.
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, November 25, 1957. Attended Gilman School, Baltimore; Princeton University, B.A., 1979; Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D., 1982. Admitted to Maryland Bar, 1983. Attorney, Ober, Kaler, Grimes & Shriver, 1982-94. Member, American, Maryland State, Baltimore City and District of Columbia Bar Associations. Board of Directors, Exchange Club Center of Maryland. Member, Exchange Club of Towson, 1986-94; Chesapeake Bay Foundation; Izaak Walton League; Lodge no. 469, Towson Elks. Executive Committee, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, 1976-79; Princeton University Alumni Association of Maryland, 1987-90. Board member, Regional Manufacturing Institute. Guardian of Small Business, National Federation of Independent Business, 1987-90, 1995-96. Vice-Chair, National Republican Committee (finance), 1999-. Member, Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice, 2007-. Board of Directors, Maryland Public Policy Institute, 2007-. Board of Trustees, Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs. Legislator of the Year, Maryland State's Attorneys Association, 1989; National Conference for the Prevention of Child Abuse, 1994; Maryland State Lodge, Fraternal Order of Police, 1994. Outstanding Young Marylander, Maryland Jaycees, 1995. Tax Fighter Award, National Tax Limitation Committee, 1996. Golden Bulldog Award, Watchdogs of the Treasury, 1996. Spirit of Enterprise Award, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 1995, 1996, 1997. Distinguished Service Award, German Society of Maryland, 1997. Exceptional Legislator Award, 104th Congress, American Health Care Association, 1997. Legislator of the Year, National Association of Mortgage Brokers, 1997. Federal Official of the Year, National Industries for the Blind, 1998. Distinguished Service Award, Columbia Light House for the Blind, 1999. Distinguished Marylander Award, Maryland Chapter, National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, 2003. Man of the Year Award, Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland, 2004. Governor of the Year, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2005. Freedom to Compete Award, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 2005. Highest Recognition Award, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, 2005. Influential Marylanders in Law, Daily Record, 2008. Married; two children.
Growing up in Arbutus
Governor Ehrlich was born in 1957 in Arbutus, Maryland, a small, working-class suburb of Baltimore City. His mother, Nancy, was a legal secretary. Bob Sr., a former Marine and Korean War veteran, worked as a commission salesman at Archway Ford in Baltimore for 37 years. In 1967, the Ehrlich family moved out of an apartment and into a row house on Dolores Avenue, where Mr. and Mrs. Ehrlich still live today.
Governor Ehrlich won scholarships to the Gilman School in Baltimore and later to Princeton University. While at Gilman, Governor Ehrlich was named captain of the football team and won all-state and all-American honors. His academic and football success continued at Princeton University, where he studied political science and co-captained the football team. To make ends meet, he sold sandwiches door to door at night, and worked construction jobs on the weekends. After graduating from Princeton in 1979, Governor Ehrlich entered the Wake Forest University School of Law, where he worked as an graduate assistant football coach to earn extra money, while attending classes during the day.
After Governor Ehrlich finished law school in 1982, he moved back to Maryland to work for the Baltimore law firm of Ober, Kaler, Grimes, and Shriver, where he practiced for more than a decade. While working as an attorney, Governor Ehrlich ran successfully for the House of Delegates, where he was known for a collegial style that helped him build bridges - and forge lasting friendships - across the political aisle. He was a member of the House Judiciary Committee, the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics, and fought for the rights of children on the Governor's Council on Child Abuse and Neglect.
In 1994, Bob Ehrlich was elected to the United States House of Representatives. While serving in Congress, he helped craft the first balanced budget in a generation, sponsored legislation to protect innocent spouses from IRS abuse, authored legislation to help blind and disabled citizens return to the workplace, and led efforts to stiffen penalties on criminals convicted of gun violence. Congressman Ehrlich was a leading advocate for small business owners and helped provide record tax relief to the American people.
Bob Ehrlich's historic election as governor in 2002 ended the monopoly's grasp on government and began a legacy of reform. In addition to balancing the budget, Governor Ehrlich defeated $7.5 billion in tax hikes proposed by the Maryland General Assembly, while increasing public school funding by record levels. He enacted Maryland's first-ever charter schools law, establishing 15 charter schools benefiting more than 3,000 students in just three years. Governor Ehrlich doubled investments in college need-based scholarships, helping 12,000 students go to college. The Chesapeake Bay Foundation called Governor Ehrlich's Bay Restoration Act, “the most important pollution-reducing initiative in the state in 20 years.” The Governor's plan will reduce pollution into the Bay by seven million pounds per year—cutting current levels nearly in half.
More than 100,000 net new private-sector jobs were created during his time as Governor. Maryland's unemployment rate was one of the lowest in the nation at approximately 4 percent and its welfare rate is at its lowest level since 1962.
Governor Ehrlich is married to Kendel Sibiski Ehrlich, a former assistant public defender and assistant state’s attorney. The Ehrlichs are the proud parents of two sons, Drew and Joshua.
July 1, 2009
Note: In this past edition of Maryland Manual, some links are to external sites. View the current Manual