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Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch, dies at 72

Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch (January 4, 1947 – April 7, 2019)";

Family and friends are mourning the loss of Maryland House Speaker Michael Busch.  Busch, who was the longest-serving House speaker in the state's history, died Sunday afternoon.  Busch announced last week that he had pneumonia which had followed complications from his 2017 liver transplant. 

Governor Larry Hogan released a statement saying that Busch was a giant who cared deeply about improving the lives of Marylanders.  Maryland flags will fly at half-staff in honor of Busch's distinguished life and legacy.  He was 72.  "I join the entire state of Maryland in mourning the passing of a true statesman," said Hogan.

Acting Baltimore Mayor Bernard “Jack” Young issued a statement mourning the loss of Busch. “A wonderful son of Baltimore, Speaker Busch never forgot his beloved Charm City,” said Young.  “He was a man who wasn’t shy about using the considerable powers of his office to benefit average citizens. “The City of Baltimore and the entire state of Maryland is diminished by the loss of such a humble public servant.”

Michael Erin Busch was an American politician who served as Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates from 2003 until his death in 2019. Busch was a member of the House since 1987. He represented District 30A, which encompasses parts of Anne Arundel County, including the state capital of Annapolis.

Busch was born in Baltimore City and was a lifelong resident of the state of Maryland. He attended St. Mary's High School in Annapolis and in 1970 received his B.S. degree in education from Temple University, where he was a member of the Pi Lambda Phi fraternity.  He was pursued by the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys as a running back, prior to a knee injury. Busch then returned to Maryland to coach athletics and teach.

Busch believed that his greatest honor in life was serving his hometown of Annapolis—a city where he has coached, taught, and mentored students and represented his fellow residents in the State House since 1987. His career in public service began when parents encouraged him to run for office while he was teaching history and coaching at St. Mary’s High School.

Busch served as chairman of the House Economic Matters Committee before being unanimously elected by his Democratic and Republican colleagues in 2003 to serve as Speaker of the House. He made his mark as chairman battling privatization of the BlueCross BlueShield insurance company—a move that could have cost health insurance consumers millions in premium costs. Mike is known by his colleagues as “Coach” for his even-handed leadership and his willingness to work with legislators from across the State and across party lines to tackle complex issues.

Mike is a native Marylander and graduate of St. Mary's High School in Annapolis. Once aggressively recruited as a top prospect for the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, he suffered a knee injury that ended his football career at Temple University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree.

He leaves behind his wife, Cindy, and two daughters, Erin, a senior at Stetson University, and Megan, a freshman at Coastal Carolina University—both playing top NCAA Division I women’s lacrosse.