WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen and Congressman Anthony G. Brown praised Senate-passage late Thursday of H.R. 4890 that designates the United Postal Service Largo Post Office at 9801 Apollo Drive in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, as the “Wayne K. Curry Post Office Building.” Wayne Curry was Prince George’s County’s first African-American County Executive and a true public servant who brought economic empowerment to the county. He passed away in 2014, at the age of 63, after a battle with lung cancer.
The House bill, sponsored by Congressman Brown, was approved by the House of Representatives this summer, meaning the legislation now passed by the full Congress will go to President Trump to be signed into law.
“Wayne Curry was a friend, as well as a public servant and a tremendous leader who inspired young people to serve their community and their nation,” said Senator Cardin, who sponsored the Senate companion bill (S. 2725) to Congressman Brown’s legislation. “This honor is a lasting and fitting memorial to Wayne in the heart of Prince George’s County that he loved.”
“Wayne Curry was a tireless champion for Prince George’s County and the people of Maryland – he was also a friend. From tackling poverty, to strengthening our schools, to fighting for our kids, Wayne never backed away from a fight if it meant helping the people he represented. This building will stand as a tribute to his great leadership and legacy,” said Senator Van Hollen, who co-sponsored the Senate bill.
“Wayne Curry never sought to make history, but he broke barriers throughout his remarkable life of service; he worked tirelessly to uplift the community around him and to better the lives of the people of Prince George’s County,” said Congressman Brown. “Naming this building in his honor – in the heart of the County he cared so deeply about – will be a daily reminder of the lasting vision, contribution and legacy of Wayne K. Curry. I’m proud Congress came together to pay him tribute with this designation.”
Wayne K. Curry was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1951, but grew up in Cheverly, Maryland. He and his brother were among the first African-American students to integrate, and graduate from, Bladensburg High School. After finishing his undergraduate degree at Western Maryland College, now McDaniel College, Mr. Curry worked as a teacher and director of a Prince George’s County daycare center. His public service began in earnest with various positions in the administration of Prince George’s County Executive Winfield Kelly, Jr. beginning in 1975. While working during the day, Mr. Curry attended law school in the evening and graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law, with honors, in 1980. Even though he went on to become a partner at a law firm, and later ran his own legal practice, public service continued to be a constant part of his professional life. He served as Chairman of the United Way Campaign of Prince George’s County, President of the Prince George’s County Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the School Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Black Male Achievement, Chairman of the Prince George’s County Substance Abuse Advisory Board, and as a member of the Boards of Directors of the Prince George’s County “Christmas in April,” United Communities Against Poverty, and the Bonnie Johns Children’s Fund.
In 1994, Mr. Curry became the first African-American County Executive in Prince George’s County history. He brought a renewed vitality to the office and focused his administration on the economic empowerment of his constituents – where he saw the county go from a deficit of $108 million to enjoying a $120 million surplus. Mr. Curry presided over a period of unprecedented population growth, development and modernization as the County transformed from a rural, white majority, to the national standard of African-American success. He served two terms from December 1994 to December 2, 2002.