also went directly to local governments, primarily to finance educa-
tional and police protection improvements and to provide real estate
tax credits for the elderly — needs that otherwise would have fallen on
local property taxes.
The Governor is a native of Baltimore City. He was born November
9, 1918, the only son of Theodore Spiro Agnew, a restaurant operator
and a leader of the city's Greek community, and the former Margaret
Akera of Bristol, Virginia. His father came to this country in 1897
at the age of 21 from the village of Gargalianos, in Messenia, Pelop-
onnesus, Greece. Both parents are deceased. The family name Agnew
was shortened from the Greek name Anagnostopoulos by the Gov-
Governor Agnew received his formal education in the public schools
of Baltimore City, The Johns Hopkins University, where he studied
chemistry for three years before turning to law, and the University
of Baltimore, where he received his Bachelor of Laws degree in 1947
after returning from service in the Army. He also helds honorary
Doctor of Laws degrees from the University of Maryland and Morgan
During World War II he was a company commander with the 10th
Armored Division in the European Theater of Operations. He was
recalled for an additional year of Army service during the Korean War.
The Governor became interested in public affairs as a practicing
attorney in Baltimore County and as president of the Loch Raven
Community Council. He was active in moves to obtain open spaces
legislation in the county and also in the successful drive for charter
"home rule" government which replaced the Board of County Com-
missioners in 1957 with a full-time County Executive and Council.
In 1957 he was appointed minority member of the County Board
of Appeals, which hears zoning appeals, and later became its chair-
man. His ouster in 1961 by the Democratic-controlled County Council,
despite widespread backing from civic organizations, brought his
name to new prominence and led him to run the following year for
County Executive. He won despite a Democratic registration edge of
nearly 4 to 1.
Under his administration, Baltimore County became one of the first
in the nation to enact a public accommodations law and also passed
legislation to require "open spaces" for park and recreational use in
all new subdivisions.