Issue One honors the life of ReFormer Joseph D. Tydings

  • Ryan Marsan

Issue One offers its most sincere condolences to the friends and family of former Senator Joseph D. Tydings (D-MD). Sen. Tydings was a member of our Reformers Caucus, a bipartisan coalition composed of 200 former Cabinet officials, governors and members of Congress advocating for solutions to fix the broken political system. He passed away Monday after a battle with cancer at the age of 90.  

In 1964, Joseph Tydings unseated a two-term incumbent to represent Maryland as a U.S. Senator, a position he held until 1970. Sen. Tydings is perhaps best known for his leadership on civil rights legislation, including his support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, as well as his support for gun control and opposition to the Vietnam War.

A Maryland Democrat, Sen. Tydings first ran for political office in 1954 as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates, a seat he would hold for six years. When John F. Kennedy won the presidency in 1960, he named Tydings as the U.S. Attorney for Maryland, a role in which he won jail sentences and convictions for corruption and conflicts of interest against members of the Maryland House of Delegates and the U.S. Congress. In this role, Tydings cemented his legacy as a fair, principled prosecutor and politician willing to take on corruption cases against anyone, regardless of political affiliation. “He was a man of deep principal and courage. He went after corruption at the highest levels — in his own party,” said former Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler (D). “He lived a very long and spirited life, and he made a great deal of difference in other peoples’ lives”.

Issue One is grateful for Sen. Joseph D. Tydings’ dedication to improving opportunities for every American, and for his commitment to fighting corruption in government. We will remember him for his efforts to hold congressional power accountable, and we extend our support to those closest to Sen. Tydings as we remember his wonderful life and legacy.