ObituaryWilliam J. Ford

Ulysses Currie, 84, Longtime Md. Lawmaker Dies

Former Maryland state Sen. Ulysses Currie, who won praise for his work in education and in the General Assembly, died Friday at his home in Forestville, according to a family statement. He was 84.

Currie served in state politics, representing Prince George’s County, from 1987 until his term expired Jan. 9 this year.

The son of sharecropper and a former educator in the county for more than 30 years, Currie, a Democrat, became a majority whip in the House of Delegates and made history in Annapolis as the first Black lawmaker to chair the Senate’s Budget and Taxation Committee.

He received praise from former colleagues such as Del. Darryl Barnes (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro for helping them understand state politics and life.

“He was one of the reasons why I became a delegate and put me on his ticket,” said Barnes, who chairs the state’s Maryland Black Caucus. “Through that time frame, he did a lot for me and we became friends. We would talk about a whole host of things. He will be sorely missed. We as a community, need to recognize the good that he did and find a way to honor him.”

Several people posted heartfelt messages of condolences on social media about Currie, including those who worked with him in the education field.

There are a handful of people I credit for shaping and molding me into the person and servant that I am today — Senator Ulysses Currie will always be at the top of that list,” said Prince George’s County school board member K. Alexander Wallace. “There are times where I sit at the board of education dais and hear you whisper words of wisdom before I vote. Then there are the times when I recall you telling me how the juice was not worth the squeeze on matters that, at the time, I thought were too big to pass up.

Sen. Mary Washington (D-Baltimore City), elected last year in the Senate after 10 years as a state delegate, worked with Currie in his final year when his wife, Shirley Gravely-Currie, accompanied her husband in his last session in Annapolis.

Sen. Currie will always be remembered as a giant in Maryland politics,” Washington tweeted. He garnered the respect of delegates and senators alike, who were captivated by his hearty personality, admired his resilient character, and were guided by his expert leadership.”

Even with all the accolades, Currie faced a federal indictment in 2010 on alleged bribery and other charges as a paid consultant for Shoppers Food Warehouse, according to a FBI release. However, a jury acquitted Currie in 2011.

Currie, reelected for two four-year terms in the House of Delegates and another six terms in the Senate, was born in 1935 in Whiteville, North Carolina, according to a state biography. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social studies from University of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State College in 1959.

After Currie served from 1960-63 in the Army, he received a master’s degree in education from American University in northwest D.C. in 1968.

He served a delegate from 1987 to 1995, included an appointment as majority whip.

After serving in the Senate beginning in 1995, he announced his retirement in 2016 due to health issues. However, he rescinded the resignation and served two more years.

Sen. Melony Griffith (D-District 25) of Upper Marlboro now represents Currie’s district which includes Capitol Heights, District Heights and portions of Upper Marlboro.

Before and during his time in state politics, Currie worked as a teacher, former principal and head of the Prince George’s Head Start program. Lawmakers agreed last year to rename the state’s Head Start program as the Ulysses Currie Head Start Program.

Senator Currie [was] known as a mentor and selfless public servant and as a fierce advocate for education, including expanding access to Head Start, which his colleagues named after him in 2018,” the family said in a statement. He leaves behind a legacy of service and leadership which will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Besides his wife, Currie is survived by his two sons, Michael and Aris Currie, and two grandchildren.

Tags
Show More

William J. Ford – Washington Informer Staff Writer

I decided I wanted to become a better writer while attending Bowie State University and figured that writing for the school newspaper would help. I’m not sure how much it helped, but I enjoyed it so much I decided to keep on doing it, which I still thoroughly enjoy 20 years later. If I weren’t a journalist, I would coach youth basketball. Actually, I still play basketball, or at least try to play, once a week. My kryptonite is peanut butter. What makes me happy – seeing my son and two godchildren grow up. On the other hand, a bad call made by an official during a football or basketball game makes me throw up my hands and scream. Favorite foods include pancakes and scrambled eggs which I could eat 24-7. The strangest thing that’s ever happened to me, or more accurately the most painful, was when I was hit by a car on Lancaster Avenue in Philadelphia. If I had the power or money to change the world, I’d make sure everyone had three meals a day. And while I don’t have a motto or favorite quote, I continue to laugh which keeps me from driving myself crazy. You can reach me several ways: Twitter @jabariwill, Instagram will_iam.ford2281 or e-mail, wford@washingtoninformer.com

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact

Back to top button

My News Matters to me - Washington Informer Donations

Be a Part of The Washington Informer Legacy

A donation of your choice empowers our journalists to continue the work to better inform, educate and empower you through technology and resources that you use.

Click Here Today to Support Black Press and be a part of the Legacy!

Subscribe today for free and be the first to have news and information delivered directly to your inbox.


By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: Washington Informer Newspaper, 3117 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE, Washington, DC, 20032, http://www.washingtoninformer.com. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact
Close

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker