Hattie Harrison


ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Hattie Harrison, the longest-serving delegate in the Maryland House and the first African-American woman to chair a legislative committee in the General Assembly, has died. The Baltimore Democrat was 84.

House Speaker Michael Busch announced Harrison's death late Monday night.

Harrison, who was first elected to the state's House of Delegates in 1973, represented District 45 in the eastside of Baltimore. For 33 years she chaired the House Rules and Executive Nominations Committee, which considers proposals on the rules, organization and procedures of the House and the General Assembly.

"Delegate Harrison was a great influence on everyone she touched," Busch, D-Anne Arundel, said in a statement. "She took enormous pride in public service and while someone will ultimately take her seat, no one will ever be able to take her place in the House."

An advocate for civil rights and workers' rights, Harrison was a teacher f or much of her life. She was born in Lancaster, S.C., but attended public schools in the city of Baltimore and graduated from Antioch College.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake recalled the personality of a trailblazing lawmaker that endeared Harrison to constituents for decades.

"Her calm but stern demeanor and her matriarchal standing in the community foiled even her most ardent political opponents, who, in the end, came to respect her greatness," Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat, said in a statement.

Baltimore City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young remembered Harrison as a larger-than-life figure who nurtured and educated generations of children in Baltimore.

"As a mother figure at Dunbar High School, Del. Harrison stressed the importance of education and a strong work ethic to countless children who passed through the school's halls," Young said in a statement Monday night.

Alexandra Hughes, a spokeswoman for the speaker, said one of Ha rrison's sons, Robert "Skip" Harrison, informed Busch of his mother's death Monday evening. Harrison is also survived by her son Philip Harrison, three grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

BRIAN WITTE, Associated Press

Copyright © 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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May the god of comfort be a source of strength for your family at this difficult time. 2Corn 1:3, 4. Deepest Sympathy, Sue, Concord, NC

Mrs. Harrison lived a very interesting life and a long one. The scriptures teach us that people who live that length of time are blessed by God. Mazy she sleep in peace.

I have never met a more inspirational woman. You will always be in my heart. I love you.

Deeply Sadden to hear of Ms. Harrison death. She was my geometry teacher at Dunbar Sr. High. She inspired me to attend college and graduate. Ms. Harrison was a great poet and instilled poet pride in all of her students. She will never be forgotten.

RIP to the Honorable Del. Hattie Harrison. We will always Remember all of your work in the community. Love, Peace and Blessings. Carolyn Baker & Mary Plunkett.

2/8/13 It was a pleasure working with you Del. Tiger Davis and the whole team at the 45 Legislative Caucus. We were family. Smile Peace and Blessisngs.Carolyn Baker

God has given wings to a woman of great charater. My family thank you for being a memory in our lives. We pray that God will continue to comfort your family and friends. Florence "Peaches" Carter