Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch dead at 72

BALTIMORE — U.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) released the following statement regarding the passing of Maryland Speaker of the House Michael Busch who died today after being hospitalized for pneumonia. He was 72.

“Maryland has lost one of her greatest champions today. And I have lost a dear friend and former colleague. Mike Busch was a titan of unstinting character who served the state he grew up in and did his job for Marylanders with passion, integrity, determination, and exuberance.

“As the longest serving Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, Mike’s good works can be seen and felt all around us. Under his leadership, we have become a more inclusive and just community with greater opportunity for all. When I served in the Maryland House of Delegates with Mike, many of us would fondly call him “coach.” Not just because his office was packed with photos of him coaching various youth sports teams and his history as a football star, but because he always had a way of bringing out the best in everyone who had the privilege of learning from him. We were all part of Team Maryland.

“As a lifelong Marylander, Mike dedicated himself to our state for over 32 years. Even when his health was declining, he was known to walk the halls of the State House whistling and singing. That’s just the type of person he was: full of life even during the most difficult times.

“Mike always stood with Maryland. And today, we stand with his family and all of those mourning during this heart-wrenching time. Our prayers and gratitude go out to his wife Cindy, and his daughters during this difficult hour.”

Busch died at University of Maryland Medical Center. The longest serving Maryland delegate had been placed Saturday on a ventilator to help him breathe.