(D) U.S. Senator of Maryland 1977 – 2007
Paul Spyros Sarbanes is a former United States Senator who represented the State of Maryland. Paul Sarbanes made Maryland history in November, 2000 by winning reelection to an unprecedented 5th term to the United States Senate, becoming the State’s longest serving United States Senator, having served from 1977 until 2007.
Paul Sarbanes worked for the people of Maryland for more than three decades, first as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates and then serving as a Congressman from the Third Congressional District for three terms. Since 1977, he has served with integrity and distinction in the United States Senate where he served as the Ranking Member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, and also as a senior member of the Foreign Relations, Budget and Joint Economic Committees.
“The Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act” was signed into law on July 30, 2002, and has been referred to as “the most far-reaching reforms of American business
practices since the time of Franklin Delano Roosevelt.” The law is now known as the “Sarbanes-Oxley Act,” named for the principal sponsors of the legislation.
Paul Sarbanes was born on Maryland’s Eastern Shore on February 3, 1933. He was the son of Greek immigrants from Laconia, Greece — Spyros (deceased 1957) and Matina Sarbanes (deceased 2001). The principles Senator Sarbanes learned growing up and that have guided his public life are opportunity and fairness — principles that he strongly believes are fundamental to a decent and just society.
Sarbanes learned from his parents early in life how privileged we are to live in a democracy, the importance of community participation and, in particular, the importance of exercising the right to vote. In his many conversations with students across the State of Maryland, when he speaks of his passion for public service, Sarbanes talks about the high premium placed on involvement in public life by the ancient Greeks. In Athens, he says, “those who lived only in private life were falling short. They were called ‘idiotes,’ from which our word ‘idiot’ is derived today. Sarbanes and his wife Christine are the parents of three children and the grandparents of six. Sarbanes is a member of the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation in Baltimore.