By CBS Baltimore Staff

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — Former Baltimore County Executive Ted Venetoulis has died at the age of 87, officials announced Thursday. He served as county executive from 1974 to 1978.

According to the Maryland Manual, Venetoulis, a democrat, was a dedicated public servant, serving on various boards and commissions in Baltimore County and Maryland. His last public position was as the Chair of the Baltimore County Charter Review Commission in 2017.

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Maryland State Senator Jim Rosapepe said Venetoulis, a friend of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was “a happy warrior for Baltimore.”

“Ted was a renaissance man — author, public official, entrepreneur, political analyst, and much more,” said Rosapepe. For decades, he was a happy warrior for Baltimore, for free press and fair elections — and for the Democratic Party of FDR, JFK, and his long-time pal Nancy Pelosi. And he was one of my favorite people — every time I got off the phone with him, I felt better about everything.”

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Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski said he is “heartbroken” by the news.

“I am heartbroken by the loss of my friend, former County Executive Venetoulis,” said Olszewski. “One of our County’s earliest reformers at a moment when our communities needed it most, I will forever be grateful for the countless ways Ted gave back to our County, our region and our state as well as for his counsel and encouragement to build upon his own rich legacy.”

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“Baltimore County is a far better place today thanks to his many years of service. My prayers and condolences are with his family and loved ones during this trying time,” he said.

CBS Baltimore Staff