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Martin O’Malley Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here is a look at the life of Martin O’Malley, former governor of Maryland.


Birth date: January 18, 1963

Birth place: Washington, DC

Birth name: Martin Joseph O’Malley

Father: Thomas O’Malley, attorney

Mother: Barbara (Suelzer) O’Malley, receptionist for Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland)

Marriage: Catherine “Katie” Curran O’Malley (1990-present)

Children: Grace, Tara, William, and Jack

Education: Catholic University of America, B.A., 1985; University of Maryland School of Law, J.D., 1988

Religion: Catholic

Other Facts

Longtime guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has been the front man of the Celtic rock band O’Malley’s March since 1988.

Worked on Gary Hart’s presidential campaign as a volunteer.

While mayor of Baltimore and governor of Maryland, O’Malley introduced data-driven government reporting and management programs such as CitiStat, StateStat and BayStat.

During O’Malley’s two terms as governor, Maryland legalized same-sex marriage, passed new gun control laws, increased the minimum wage, repealed the death penalty, decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, and provided in-state tuition for some undocumented immigrants.

David Simon, creator of the Baltimore-based television series “The Wire,” has said that the character, Tommy Carcetti, is based partly on O’Malley.


1986-1988 – Serves as state field director for Barbara Mikulski’s campaign and later as a legislative fellow after Mikulski is elected to the US Senate.

1988-1990 – Assistant state’s attorney for the city of Baltimore.

1990 – Unsuccessfully runs for the Maryland state Senate. O’Malley loses to incumbent Sen. John Pica in the Democratic primary by 44 votes.

1991 – Elected to represent Baltimore’s 3rd District on the City Council, serves until 1999.

December 7, 1999-January 17, 2007 – Serves two terms as the mayor of Baltimore.

November 7, 2006 – Elected governor of Maryland, defeating Republican incumbent Gov. Bob Ehrlich.

January 17, 2007-January 21, 2015 – Serves as the 61st governor of Maryland.

2010 – Appointed to the first Council of Governors by US President Barack Obama. O’Malley is named co-chairman in 2013.

November 2, 2010 – Reelected governor, again defeating Ehrlich.

December 2010-December 2012 – Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

May 10, 2011 – Signs the Maryland DREAM Act into law, which extends in-state tuition to certain undocumented immigrants. Opponents later collect enough signatures to force a referendum. In November 2012, voters choose to uphold the law.

March 1, 2012 – Signs into law a bill legalizing same-sex marriage in Maryland. Opponents later collect enough signatures to force a referendum in November, where 51.9% of voters approve same-sex marriage rights. The law goes into effect in January 2013.

May 2, 2013 – Signs a bill repealing the death penalty. The legislation goes into effect in October but is not retroactive.

December 31, 2014 – Announces he will take the state’s last four inmates off death row, commuting their sentences to life in prison without parole in one of his final acts as governor.

May 30, 2015 – Formally announces he is running for president.

February 1, 2016 – Ends his presidential campaign after getting less than 1% of the vote at the Iowa caucuses.

February 7, 2018 – Harvard University announces that O’Malley will be a visiting fellow for 2018 beginning in April.

2019-present – Poling Chair of Business and Government at Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

November 5, 2019 – “Smarter Government: How to Govern for Results in the Information Age” is published. The companion book, “Smarter Government Workbook: A 14-Week Implementation Guide to Governing for Results,” is published in May 2020.

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