Legendary professor Larry Gibson to receive 2021 Icon Award



Anyone who has met or heard of Professor Larry Gibson knows he is an icon, but now it is official. This year, Gibson won the Maryland Daily Record’s Icon Award. The honor recognizes people over 60 for their notable success and demonstration of strong leadership both within and outside of their chosen field. The award will be presented at an event in mid-December. 

Joining Gibson on the list of 25 luminaries are Maryland Carey Law alums Gregg Bernstein ’81, a partner at Zuckerman Spaeder LLP and former Baltimore City state’s attorney, and prominent defense attorney Ward B. Coe III ’73, a partner at Gallagher Evelius & Jones LLP. Other winners include celebrated Oriole Jim Palmer and Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Tyler. 

On the Maryland Carey Law faculty since 1974, Gibson has indeed demonstrated strong leadership both within and outside of the law school.  

Students flock to him and his classes because of his deep knowledge and enthusiasm as a teacher and mentor. Especially popular is his Race and the Law seminar in which students get to experience Gibson’s famous civil right tour of Baltimore. And, as Dean Donald Tobin noted at Gibson’s investiture as the Morton & Sophia Macht Professor of Law in 2019Larry’s service reaches well beyond our walls—to the city, state, nation, and the world.” Added Tobin, “For all of Larry’s work as a civil rights leader, political strategist, historian, scholar, and teacherwe revere him. For his devotion to the people around him, we cherish him.”  

Gibson grew up in Baltimore and attended Howard University. He earned his law degree from Columbia University in 1967 and was the first Black law professor at the University of Virginia. During the administration of former President Jimmy Carter, he served in the U.S. Justice Department as associate deputy attorney general and as director of the National Economic Crimes Project. In 1992, he was Maryland state chairman of the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign. Additionally, he managed political campaigns resulting in Baltimore’s first Black mayor Kurt Schmoke and Liberia’s first female president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. Gibson is of counsel at Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler. 

Also a renowned scholar and historian, Gibson was the principal advocate for the law passed by the Maryland General Assembly renaming the BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. He is currently working on a follow-up to his 2012 groundbreaking book Young Thurgood: The Making of a Supreme Court Justice, to be published in 2022.  


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