How did Former Maryland legislator die: A Maryland civil rights leader who also served in the General Assembly for 20 years has died at the age of 81. The Rev. Emmett C. Burns Jr.’s successor in the legislature told The Baltimore Sun that Burns died Thursday at a local hospital from complications from a fall.
Who was Burns
Burns was elected to the House of Delegates in 1995, making him the first African American elected to statewide government office from Baltimore County, according to the newspaper.
Burns led a successful campaign to rename the Baltimore/Washington International Airport after Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American justice on the United States Supreme Court.
Brooks described Burns as a “very instrumental and strong leader in the community.” “He was a moral, value, ethics, and integrity man.” We’re going to miss him terribly.”
Burns, a native of Jackson, Mississippi, became involved in civil rights activism at a young age. His son, Rev. Engel Burns, said his father grew up a few blocks away from the office of civil rights leader Medgar Evers.
After serving in several ministerial positions, the elder Burns was appointed director of the NAACP’s Mississippi State Conference in 1971, where he led anti-segregation protests and filed lawsuits seeking equal city services for Black and white people. In 1979, he moved to Baltimore to become the NAACP regional director for Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.
Rev. Burns moved to Baltimore in 1979 to become the NAACP’s first regional director, covering Maryland, Washington, and Virginia. In 1983, he and his wife founded Rising Sun First Baptist Church, and he retired from the NAACP ten years later.
His wife, the former Earlene Poe, and three sons and five grandchildren survive him.
Burns Cause of Death
How did Former Maryland legislator die: Rev. Emmett C. Burns Jr., a civil rights activist in Maryland who also served in the General Assembly for 20 years, died at the age of 81.
Burns died Thursday at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore from complications from a fall, according to Del. Benjamin Brooks Sr., who succeeded Burns in the legislature.
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