Maryland Carey Law

In Memoriam: Thomas D'Alesandro III '52

Remembering Baltimore's 43rd Mayor and members of our alumni community.

Baltimore's 43rd mayor Thomas D’Alesandro III ’52, died on Oct. 20, 2019. “Thomas D’Alesandro was a champion for civil rights and a principled public servant,” says Maryland Carey Law Dean Donald Tobin. “He led with strength and compassion during a time of great struggle in our city’s history.”

D’Alesandro became mayor of Baltimore in 1967, just a few months before Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated and Baltimore erupted with rioting, burning and
looting, leaving six dead and 700 injured.

As mayor, he worked to root out discrimination, presiding over civil rights legislation, and appointing multiple African Americans to his administration, including the first
Black leaders of the city’s schools and fire department. One of those appointments—to the city school board—was current Maryland Carey Law Prof. Larry Gibson.

Raised in Baltimore City’s Little Italy, D’Alesandro came from a storied Baltimore family. He was the eldest brother of Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi and son of Thomas D’Alesandro Jr., who also served as Baltimore mayor (1947-1959).

A 1949 graduate of Loyola College, D’Alesandro went straight to the University of Maryland School of Law, earning a law degree in 1952, the same year he married Margaret Piracci at the Baltimore Basilica.

After serving four years in the Army, D’Alesandro began his political career on the city Board of Elections Supervisors until gaining a seat in 1962 on the Baltimore City Council, on which he also served as president.

The Baltimore native chose not to run for a second term as mayor, and after considering a run for governor, rejected that idea, too, instead using his law degree to set up a law firm with fellow University of Maryland School of Law graduate, Jacob Miliman ’51. D’Alesandro and Miliman dedicated their careers to representing people in the community, those most in need of advocacy and justice.

In 1998, Jack Eddinger, D’Alesandro’s former press secretary, wrote in The Baltimore Sun that D’Alesandro was Baltimore’s first modern mayor, asserting that not only did he preside “over its emergence as a Renaissance City that it is today, but he gave it unmatched leadership. Much of what other mayors get credit for began in those tumultuous four years, from urban design and labor law reform to streamlined governmental administration and the flowering of the vital alliance between the city and the Greater Baltimore Committee.”

D’Alesandro is survived by his wife of 67 years, five children and multiple grandchildren and great grandchildren. He died at home in North Baltimore at the age of 90.



June Auerbach ’55
Joseph Baumgartner, Jr. ’55
C. Peter Beler ’54
Lois Berge ’73
Allan Blumberg ’59
David Bodley ’89
Steven Charles ’71
John Clark, Jr. ’80
Timothy Clarke, Sr. ’71
Richard Cover ’57
The Hon. Elijah Cummings ’76
Thomas D’Alesandro, III ’52
Mathias DeVito ’56
John Ditto, Jr. ’58
Roger Eldridge ’00
Edgar Feingold ’58
Patricia Ferraris ’89
Harry Fox ’69
Allan Gerson ’72
Col. James Gleason ’73
Marilyn Goldstein ’85
Ruthellen Hammer ’53
V. Lanny Harchenhorn ’70
Clyde Hartz ’63
Dennis Henderson ’72
L. Stephen Hess ’60
Michael Jackley ’70
Stanton Levinson ’75
Joseph Mamana ’64
Michael Marshall ’82
Patrick McGaughan ’91
Howard Nicholson ’81
Matthew Osborne ’03
Mary Palmer ’77
F. Carvel Payne ’70
Marc Peitersen ’86
Gary Platt ’73
Joseph Sachs ’67
The Hon. Lansdale Sasscer, Jr. ’52
Patricia Scahill ’96
William Schapiro ’76
Lawrence Shavers ’78
Robert Smith ’75
Gerard Sunderland ’73
S. Dennis Taback ’67
Joseph Tubman ’56
John Utermohle ’56
Alva Weaver, III ’60
Walter Webster ’55
Thomas Wilson, III ’71
Steven Zeisel ’80
Barbara Zentz ’77

List from July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020

Editor’s Note: The fall 2019 issue of Maryland Carey Law Magazine mistakenly placed the Hon. Dorothy J. Wilson ’90 on the In Memoriam list. We extend our deepest apologies for this misprint.