Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Davies Tydings died at 90. Tydings, a Democrat, “cut against the grain and had the courage of his convictions to fight for civil rights, and sensible gun laws in the turbulent 1960s,” said Sen. Chris Van Hollen.
WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Sen. Joseph Davies Tydings has died at 90 years old. Tydings was a Democratic senator from Maryland from 1965 to 1971.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan tweeted that he was saddened to hear of Tydings’ death, and he has ordered flags to fly at half-staff.
The First Lady and I are saddened to hear of the passing of Senator Joseph Tydings. In his many years serving Marylanders, Senator Tydings made an undeniable impact on our state’s history and future. Please join us in praying for his family.
Sen. Chris Van Hollen, also a Democrat from Maryland, said that Tydings “cut against the grain and had the courage of his convictions to fight for civil rights, and sensible gun laws in the turbulent 1960s.”
The Baltimore Sun reported that in the 1950s, as president of the Maryland Young Democrats, Tydings confronted an Ocean City hotel owner who refused to allow black attendees to stay in the hotel.
Tydings was born in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1928. He was adopted as a child by Millard Tydings, who was a Maryland senator. He attended the University of Maryland for college and law school.
Tydings served in the Army of Occupation, European Theater of Operations after World War II. He was admitted to the bar in 1952 and practiced law.
He was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1955 to 1961. He became the U.S. attorney for Maryland from 1961 to 1963.
Tydings ran for re-election for the Senate in 1970 and lost, which Van Hollen attributes to his progressive battles.
Tydings then served as a member of the Board of Regents of the University of Maryland from 1974 to 1984. He was a member of the Board of Regents of the University System of Maryland from 2000 to 2005.
His daughter, Mary Tydings, told The Baltimore Sun that her father was cloaked in a blanket bearing the name of his alma mater when he died.
Like WTOP on Facebook and follow @WTOP on Twitter to engage in conversation about this article and others.