The following is a list of the Governors of Maryland from independence to the present day. The Governor of Maryland heads the executive branch of the government of the U.S. state of Maryland and is commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. He or she is the highest-ranking official in the state, and the constitutional powers of Maryland's Governors make them among the most powerful in the United States.
Since the American Revolution, Maryland has had a number of state constitutions that have specified different terms of office and methods of selection of its Governors. Under the constitution of 1776, the Governors were appointed by the legislature to one year terms. An 1838 constitutional amendment allowed the direct election of Governors to three-year terms, although the Governors came from rotating election districts. The terms were lengthened to four years in the 1851 Constitution and the election districts were abolished in the 1864 version.
As of April 2011[update], four former governors were alive, the oldest being Marvin Mandel (1969–1979, born 1920). The most recent, and also the most recently serving, governor to die was William Donald Schaefer (1987–1995), on April 18, 2011.
^Table does not include governors from the colonial period, when there were no organized parties in Maryland, and governors were generally appointed rather than elected. It also does not include acting governors.
^Appointed by the legislature to fill unexpired term; was later elected in his own right.
^Took office five days early when the General Assembly chose him to complete the last days of his predecessor's term. White, Jr., Frank F. (22 June 2003). "William Preston Lane, Jr.". Archives of Maryland (Biographical Series). Maryland State Archives. Retrieved 20 December 2009.
^Chosen by the General Assembly to fill unexpired term; was later elected in his own right.
^Blair Lee III acted as governor in place of Marvin Mandel after Mandel bestowed his powers and duties on Lee following both a stroke, and a conviction on charges of corruption. Mandel rescinded his decision shortly before the expiration of his second term. Mandel served 19 months in prison before the sentence was commuted by PresidentRonald Reagan; the conviction was later overturned.
^Governor O'Malley's term expires on January 21, 2015; he is term limited.