|United States Senator|
January 3, 1977 - January 3, 2007
|John Glenn Beall Jr.|
|Chair of the Senate Banking Committee|
June 6, 2001 - January 3, 2003
|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
January 3, 1971 - January 3, 1977
|George Hyde Fallon|
|Constituency||4th district (1971-1973)|
3rd district (1973-1977)
|Member of the Maryland House of Delegates|
from the 2nd district
January 18, 1967 - January 13, 1971
Paul Spyros Sarbanes
February 3, 1933
Salisbury, Maryland, U.S.
|Children||3 (including John)|
|Education||Princeton University (BA)|
Balliol College, Oxford (BA)
Harvard University (LLB)
Paul Spyros Sarbanes (born February 3, 1933) is a former American politician and attorney. A member of the Democratic Party from Maryland, he served as a member of the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1977 and as a United States Senator from 1977 to 2007. Sarbanes was the longest-serving senator in Maryland history until he was surpassed by Barbara Mikulski by a single day when her term ended on January 3, 2017.[a]
Born in Salisbury, Maryland, Sarbanes is a graduate of Princeton University, Balliol College, Oxford, and Harvard Law School. Elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1966, he went on to serve two terms in the Maryland House from 1967 to 1971. In 1970, he won a seat in the United States House of Representatives, representing Maryland's 4th and later Maryland's 3rd congressional district from 1971 to 1977. In 1976, he ran for the United States Senate, defeating Republican incumbent John Glenn Beall, Jr. with 59% of the vote. Sarbanes was re-elected four times, each time receiving no less than 59% of the vote. He did not seek re-election in 2006, when he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Ben Cardin. Sarbanes was known for his low-key style, often shunning the limelight over his thirty-year Senate career. In 2002, Sarbanes co-sponsored the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is cited as his most-noted sponsored piece of legislation.
Paul Sarbanes was born on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the city of Salisbury to Greek immigrant parents, Matina (née Tsigounis) and Spyros P. Sarbanes, who had emigrated from Laconia, Greece and owned a Salisbury restaurant.
A graduate of Wicomico High School in Salisbury, Maryland, Sarbanes attended Princeton University, earning a bachelor's degree in 1954 from the School of Public and International Affairs after completing a senior thesis titled "The Smith Act: A Denial of American Freedoms". As a senior, he received the Moses Taylor Pyne Honor Prize, Princeton's highest undergraduate honor. He also was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship that brought him to Balliol College of the University of Oxford in Oxford, England. At Oxford, Sarbanes was a member of the Oxford University men's basketball team that won the 1955 A.B.B.A. National Championship. He graduated with a First Class degree in 1957. Sarbanes then returned to the United States and attended Harvard Law School.
After graduating in 1960, he clerked for Federal Judge Morris A. Soper before entering private practice with two Baltimore, Maryland law firms. In June 1960, Sarbanes married Christine Dunbar of Brighton, England; they have three children (John Sarbanes, Michael Anthony Sarbanes, and Janet Matina Sarbanes) and seven grandchildren. Christine Sarbanes died of cancer on March 22, 2009. Sarbanes holds the highest lay office in the Greek Orthodox Church, "Order of St. Andrew, Archon of the Ecumenical Patriarchate" and is a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore.
In 1966, Sarbanes ran for the Maryland House of Delegates in Baltimore City and won. During his four years as a State delegate in Annapolis, Maryland he served on both the Judiciary and the Ways and Means Committees.
Sarbanes was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1970 from the fourth district of Maryland and was reelected in 1972 and 1974 from the third district. While in the House, Sarbanes served on the Judiciary Committee, the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, and the Select Committee on House Reorganization. As a member of the Judiciary Committee he participated in the Impeachment process against Richard Nixon. On July 26, 1974, he introduced the first articles of impeachment against President Nixon for obstruction of justice.
Sarbanes was elected to the United States Senate in 1976 and re-elected in 1982, 1988, 1994 and 2000. In 2002, he was the United States Senate sponsor of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which reformed federal securities laws in the wake of the 2002 accounting scandals.
Sarbanes served on the following Senate committees:
By 1981, Sarbanes was noted as a frequent critic of military budgets. In spite of this, in May of that year, he voted in favor of approving a Reagan administration-backed $136.5billion military authorization bill. In December, he voted in favor of an amendment to President Reagan's MX missiles proposal that would divert the silo system by $334million as well as earmark further research for other methods that would allow giant missiles to be based. While the military authorization bill was seen as supporting the administration, the December vote was viewed as a rebuff of Reagan.
On March 11, 2005, Sarbanes, the longest-serving senator in Maryland history, announced at a news conference his decision not to seek re-election in 2006. Colleagues of Sarbanes said that the reason for his retirement from the Senate was due to his annoyance with not having any leadership roles on committees. When the 110th Congress convened in 2007, he was succeeded by fellow Democrat Ben Cardin who won the 2006 election.
The Senator received the Foreign Language Advocacy Award in 2007 from the Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the values, languages, and cultures of the ancient world in service to the modern world.
|1970||Maryland's 4th congressional district||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||93,093||69.7%||David Fentress||Republican||40,442||30.3%|
|1972||Maryland's 3rd congressional district||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||93,218||83.8%||William Matthews||Republican||17,967||16.2%|
|1974||Maryland's 3rd congressional district||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||54,936||70.1%||Republican||23,491||29.9%|
|1976||U.S. Senator, Class 1||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||772,101||59.3%||John Glenn Beall, Jr. (incumbent)||Republican||530,439||40.7%|
|1982||U.S. Senator, Class 1||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||707,356||63.5%||Lawrence Hogan||Republican||407,334||36.5%|
|1988||U.S. Senator, Class 1||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||999,166||61.8%||Alan Keyes||Republican||617,537||38.2%|
|1994||U.S. Senator, Class 1||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||809,125||59.1%||Bill Brock||Republican||559,908||40.9%|
|2000||U.S. Senator, Class 1||General||Paul Sarbanes||Democratic||1,230,013||63.2%||Paul Rappaport||Republican||715,178||36.8%|
|U.S. House of Representatives|
George Hyde Fallon
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 4th congressional district
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland's 3rd congressional district
|Party political offices|
| Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator from Maryland
1976, 1982, 1988, 1994, 2000
John Glenn Beall Jr.
| U.S. Senator (Class 1) from Maryland
Served alongside: Charles Mathias, Barbara Mikulski
| Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee
| Chair of the Senate Banking Committee
| Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee|