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|Theodore R. McKeldin|
|53rd Governor of Maryland|
January 10, 1951 – January 14, 1959
|Preceded by||William Preston Lane Jr.|
|Succeeded by||J. Millard Tawes|
|38th Mayor of Baltimore|
|Preceded by||Howard W. Jackson|
|Succeeded by||Thomas D'Alesandro|
|42nd Mayor of Baltimore|
|Preceded by||Philip H. Goodman|
|Succeeded by||Thomas D'AIesandro|
November 20, 1900|
|Died||August 10, 1974
|Alma mater||Baltimore City College
University of Maryland School of Law
Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin (November 20, 1900 – August 10, 1974) was an American politician. He was a member of the United States Republican Party, served as Mayor of Baltimore twice from 1943-47 and 1963-67, and was the 53rd Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1951 to 1959.
McKeldin was born in Baltimore to the family of a stonecutter turned policeman. He had 10 other siblings. He attended Baltimore City College at night while working as a bank clerk during the day. He graduated from the University of Maryland Law School in 1925. Two years later, he began his political ascent when worked as a secretary to Mayor Broening. Mckeldin was also a vice president of the local chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. In 1934, he was a founding member of Santa Claus Anonymous, a charity organization started during the great depression to support children in need.
McKeldin challenged the incumbent Mayor of Baltimore, Howard W. Jackson, in the election of 1939, but was defeated. In the election of 1942, McKeldin again challenged an incumbent, but this time it was the governor of Maryland, Herbert R. O'Conor. Again, McKeldin was defeated.
However, McKeldin persisted and was elected mayor of Baltimore in 1943 and as of 2017, is the most recent Republican to serve as mayor. As mayor, he oversaw the construction of Friendship Airport (now known as the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport). However, Baltimore saw hard times during this period following the Second World War, with the inner city decaying, ghettos forming, and racial prejudice still present in government policy-making. McKeldin ran a second time for Governor in 1946, challenging William Preston Lane Jr., but was defeated yet again.
McKeldin ran for governor a third time in 1950, successfully defeating Lane in a rematch. As governor, McKeldin endeavored to improve the state highway system, namely by establishing the Baltimore Beltway (now I-695), the Capital Beltway (I-495), and the John Hanson Highway (US 50 between Washington, DC and Annapolis). He was a staunch supporter of interstate cooperation, saying once: "I rode by train over several state borders. I carried no passports. No one asked me to identify myself. No one had the right to. This is America." He was also an advocate for civil rights for African Americans and was awarded the Sidney Hollander Award.
In 1952 McKeldin was a major figure in the moderate Republicans of the East Coast who were instrumental in gaining the Republican nomination for president for Dwight Eisenhower. Speaking in the stentorian tones that were common for the time, McKeldin delivered the principal nominating speech for the general at the Republican National Convention.
In 1954, he was re-elected against Democratic nominee University of Maryland President Curley Byrd by 54.46% to 45.54%. McKeldin retired in 1959 from the governorship and returned to his law practice in Baltimore. In 1963, he returned to public service after again being elected as mayor of Baltimore, focusing on the urban renewal of the Baltimore Inner Harbor. He saw the city council vote to condemn 700 homes of the Rosemont neighborhood in 1966 to build the East West Expressway "Highway to nowhere" that he started as a project with Robert Moses in 1941. McKeldin served his second term as mayor until 1967. He is to date the last Republican to be elected mayor of Baltimore.
Theodore McKeldin was born in Baltimore, Maryland, attending Maryland public schools and later graduating from Baltimore City College. He furthered his education by earning his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law in 1925 and with some graduate work at Johns Hopkins University. McKeldin married Honolulu Claire Manzer on October 17, 1924. They had two children, Theodore Jr. and Clara.
He died on August 10, 1974, and is buried in Greenmount Cemetery.
- McKeldin Center at Morgan State University 
- McKeldin Library and McKeldin Mall at the University of Maryland, College Park 
- Theodore McKeldin Gymnasium at Bowie State University 
- McKeldin Building at Springfield Hospital Center
- McKeldin Beltway, though still widely known as the Baltimore Beltway or Interstate 695
- McKeldin Area, Patapsco Valley State Park 
- McKeldin Planetarium at St. John's College.
- Vera Foster Rollo. Your Maryland A History. p. 387.
- "Theodore R. McKeldin, 1951-1959". Retrieved 17 December 2015.
- Maryland Historical Society: Sidney Hollander Collection 1926–1972
- Elfenbein, Jessica, Hollowak, Thomas L., Nix, Elizabeth. Baltimore '68 : Riots and Rebirth in an American City. p. 62.
- "Governor O'Malley Breaks Ground on Removal of West Baltimore's 'Highway to Nowhere' MARC Station improvement plan reunites West Baltimore communities". Retrieved 28 August 2014.
- Theodore R. McKeldin biography from the Maryland State Archives. Accessed Oct 25, 2004.
- Papers of Theodore Roosevelt McKeldin, University of Maryland Libraries.
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Theodore K. McKelden (SIC) (September 17, 1951)" is available at the Internet Archive
- A film clip "Longines Chronoscope with Theodore R. McKeldin (November 7, 1952)" is available at the Internet Archive
Howard W. Jackson
|Mayor of Baltimore
Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro Jr.
William Preston Lane Jr.
|Governor of Maryland
J. Millard Tawes
Philip H. Goodman
|Mayor of Baltimore
Thomas L. J. D'Alesandro III
|Party political offices|
|Republican nominee for Governor of Maryland
1942, 1946, 1950, 1954