Baltimore Sun file photo by Paul Hutchins
September 10, 2014
Term: 1959 to 1962
J. Harold Grady, who had spent three years as Baltimore's 40th mayor from 1959 to 1962, "felt very comfortable with the law and very uncomfortable as mayor," former Mayor Thomas J. D'Alesandro III told The Sun at his death in 2002. Grady, who has been a highly visible prosecutor and later city state's attorney during the 1950s, was drafted to run for mayor in 1959. In the general election, Grady defeated Republican challenger McKeldin, the former governor and mayor, by more than 81,000 votes.
Financial problems plagued Grady's tenure. To cut costs, he eliminated free public baths and merged the Park Police into the Baltimore Police Department. He pushed for land acquisition and construction of the Jones Falls Expressway, and also for the Civic Center, which is today's 1st Mariner Arena. After leaving City Hall in 1962, he made his mark as a judge when he was first appointed to the old Supreme Bench of Baltimore, and rose to become chief judge of the Circuit Court, which replaced the Supreme Bench. After stepping down in 1984, he became a partner in the Baltimore law firm of Siskind, Grady, Rosen & Hoover, where he worked until retiring in 2001.
The Homeland resident was 84 at his death, and is buried in New Cathedral Cemetery.