Wicomico Library Downtown branch dedicated to Paul Sarbanes

By Greg Bassett
Posted 11/10/21

The late elected leader who stands as one of Salisbury’s most distinguished nativesons now has the Downtown Salisbury Library branch named in his honor.

Members of the Sarbanes family …

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Wicomico Library Downtown branch dedicated to Paul Sarbanes

Posted

The late elected leader who stands as one of Salisbury’s most distinguished nativesons now has the Downtown Salisbury Library branch named in his honor.

Members of the Sarbanes family unveiled a bronze plaque commemorating the late U.S. Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes.

Along with Sarbanes’ family, community members, county, city and state officials gathered to honor the Maryland Democrat’s legacy. Sarbanes died last December at 87.

Born in Salisbury on Feb. 3, 1933, he was the son of Greek immigrants who operated a restaurant for many years on West Main Street in Downtown Salisbury. Recognized early for his intelligence, he won a scholarship to Princeton University after graduating from Wicomico High School.

He was a Rhodes Scholar at England’s Oxford University and earned a law degree at Harvard University in 1960.

Much of his family remains in Salisbury. His brother, Tony Sarbanes, is a retired Wicomico educator and former County Council President. His nephew, Jimmy Sarbanes, is the Chief Administrative Judge for the Lower Shore Circuit Court System. His niece, Beth Sheller, is a former Wicomico Teacher of the year.

Sarbanes, who retired from the U.S. Senate in 2006 and also served six years in the U.S. House of Representatives.

John Sarbanes, the late senator’s son and himself a U.S. Congressman, attended the Saturday event. 

John Sarbanes said his father maintained a deep love for education and books.

“He felt so deeply that, that was the key to success, this is what would give people the opportunity to move forward in life is to get a good education,” Sarbanes said.

Those who spoke Saturday also said naming the county library system’s main branch after Sarbanes will show the younger generation just how successful you can be -- no matter where you come from.

“He was deeply proud of this community and I think that the values that helped carry him forward came from this place, I mean very much so,” said Sarbanes. He adds, “They’ll read about his story and how a son of immigrants could rise to the highest levels of achievement here in the United States of America, and that will be inspirational to them.”

Meanwhile, a tribute to Paul Sarbanes -- originally planned for Saturday night at Salisbury University -- was rescheduled for April 2 at SU.

Covid-19 concerns prompted the date change, organizers said.

The event’s keynote speaker will be John Sarbanes. Proceeds from the event benefit the Paul S. Sarbanes Lecture Series at SU and the Paul S. Sarbanes Endowment Fund at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.