Baltimore Sun file photo
May 20, 2009
Charles McC. Mathias Jr., flanked by first lady Rosalynn Carter and President Jimmy Carter, attends a function at the U.S Naval Academy with Adm. Kinnaird McKee, then-superintendent of the academy, in June 1978. Mathias, Maryland's liberal Republican who served three terms in the U.S. Senate, where he gained enduring bipartisan respect for his conscientious approach to controversial legislation, died Jan. 25, 2010, from complications from Parkinson's disease. He was 87.
Born in Frederick, Mr. Mathias retired from the Senate in 1986, ending a career on Capitol Hill that began with his election to the House of Representatives in 1960. He was elected to the Senate in 1968.Called a "maverick" Republican by some, he was a consistent supporter of organized labor, an occasional dove on defense issues and an early advocate of revitalizing the Chesapeake Bay when that was not a significant issue.
"Dad lived what he believed," said Robert Mathias, one of the senator's two sons. "The conversations around the dinner table when we were kids ... were over civil rights, the Vietnam War, issues that were important to him. We were raised in that light."