Former Maryland Sen. Brewster Dies

Posted August 31, 2007 at 2:43pm

Daniel Baugh Brewster, a former Representative and Senator from Maryland who was also a World War II veteran and co-sponsor of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, died of liver cancer on Aug. 19 at his home in Owings Mills. He was 83.

Brewster, a licensed lawyer and staunch Democrat, was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates to represent Baltimore County in 1950. When he was only 30 years old, Brewster was re-elected in 1954 for his second term. In 1958, he was elected to the House of Representatives, representing Baltimore, Harford and Carroll counties, and he was re-elected in 1960. Brewster then served in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1969.

According to his son, Gerry Brewster, while alcoholism was a hurdle that he fought to overcome for quite some time, Brewster also had to fight to surpass a political scandal in 1968. One year after losing his Senate re-election campaign to Charles Mathias, Brewster was indicted by the federal government and found guilty of accepting an unlawful gratuity without corrupt intent, relating to his vote for low postal rates and campaign contributions from a mail-order catalog. He eventually pleaded no contest to the conviction and was fined $10,000, but he kept his law license.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that Brewster’s legacy can be found in his commitment to civil rights, his ability to find strength through adversity and his devotion to the state of Maryland and its people. Both Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) got their start in politics working in Brewster’s Senate office.

Brewster went to Princeton but left to volunteer for the Marines in 1942. He fought in Guam in 1944 and in Okinawa in 1945. After serving in World War II, he attended Johns Hopkins University and graduated from the University of Maryland law school in 1949. That same year, Brewster and John G. Turnbull, Majority Leader of the Maryland Senate, set up a law practice together. Brewster was a Marine Corps reservist while serving on the Senate Armed Services Committee and spent some time in Vietnam while a Senator. He retired from the the Marine Corps Reserves as a colonel.

He is survived by his wife Judy Lynn, three sons, two daughters, three current and former stepchildren, two brothers, a sister, four grandchildren and two stepgrandchildren.