Rep. John Sarbanes on the Passing of His Father, Sen. Paul Sarbanes

December 15, 2020

BALTIMORE, MD – U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD) shared the following message on December 14 via email on the passing of his father, former U.S. Senator Paul Sarbanes. In the message, Sarbanes acknowledges the outpouring of tributes, including from the Greek community and how his father embodied philotimo.

The full text of the message follows:

On December 6, 2020, my father Senator Paul Sarbanes passed away at age 87. Our family has been overwhelmed by the many tributes to him that have been pouring in from all over the country, including many from the Greek community.

My father was deeply proud of his Greek heritage and the fact that his immigrant mother and father, lacking any formal education, made a life for themselves in America and gave their children the opportunity to succeed.

In 1985, I had the incredible experience of traveling with my father to Richea, the village in southern Greece that his father left in 1909 to come to America. My father was so proud standing in front of the two room ancestral home where his father grew up. That blue color on the door frame is the famous "Sarbanes Blue" that my dad used from his first days in politics right through to his last race for the Senate.

In everything he did, my father embodied philotimo. His work ethic was fierce and his integrity unbending. That combination powered a life of public service that will be long cherished by the many whose lives he touched.

May his memory be eternal.

John Sarbanes

P.S. I've been asked where people can send remembrances. In lieu of flowers, our family would like to encourage donations made in his memory to the following charitable organizations:

Paul S. Sarbanes '54 Fund for Hellenism and Public Service

Princeton University

Please note that the gift is for the Paul S. Sarbanes '54 Fund for Hellenism and Public Service in memory of Senator Sarbanes and not Annual Giving: https://bit.ly/34bDkEL.

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Please note that the gift is to recognize Senator Sarbanes: https://www.prattlibrary.org/support-us/make-a-gift.

Paul S. Sarbanes Lecture Series

Salisbury University's Institute of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement: https://bit.ly/3oSlVsF.

Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Protecting the Chesapeake in memory of Senator Paul Sarbanes: https://bit.ly/37mScm2.


ATHENS – Congressman John Sarbanes was the featured guest at the American College of Greece (ACG) for its Distinguished Speakers Series event on June 19.

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