J. Joseph Curran, Jr. (born July 7, 1931 is an American politician and the longest serving elected Attorney General in Maryland history. His son-in-law, Martin J. O'Malley, is the Governor of Maryland.
Curran was born in West Palm Beach, Florida
but attended Baltimore parochial schools. He graduated from Loyola High School
and then from the University of Baltimore
. He served in the U.S. Air Force
from 1951 to 1955. Curran returned to Baltimore and entered the University of Baltimore School of Law
where he earned a LL.B. in 1959. Curran was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1959 and is a member, Maryland State Bar Association.
, Curran previously served as the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1983-1987 under former Governor Harry R. Hughes
. Prior to that, Curran was a member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from 1959-1963 and the Maryland State Senate
As Attorney General
In 1986, Curran was elected Attorney General after serving four years as Lieutenant Governor with Governor Harry R. Hughes
. In 1990, 1994, 1998, and 2002, he won re-election. As Attorney General, Curran intiated statewide reform in the areas of consumer protection, criminal investigations, Medicaid fraud prosecution, securities regulation, antitrust enforcement, protection of children and teens, parents, seniors, protection of victims of domestic violence and sexual predators. He also worked to strengthen criminal laws against gun violence, prescription drug abuse, and was an opponent of slots and casino gambling.
- Children & Teens- Curran launched a variety of initiatives to help Maryland's children. To protect them against sexual predators, he backed a 2004 law making it a crime to solicit a minor by computer or other means to engage in unlawful sexual conduct. He also has proposed lifetime parole supervision for sex offenders and better notification to communities when sex offenders are released from prison. To reduce teen tobacco use, he led Maryland's participation in the landmark $206 billion national settlement with the tobacco industry, which garnered $4.4 billion for Maryland, and industry concessions on advertising and marketing cigarettes to teens. His office filed suits to stop unlawful Internet cigarette sales and the use of hip-hop themes to target youth, and has reached agreements with national cigarette retailers to prevent sales to youth.
- Prescription Drugs- Curran created a first-of-its-kind drug-pricing website, which allows consumers to compare retail prices charged by different pharmacies in Maryland for commonly used prescription drugs. He also has developed educational outreach materials to help seniors make good decisions about Medicare Part D, the complex new federal prescription drug benefit. His office also released a report on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse among Maryland teens and adults, and developed the blueprint for a prescription monitoring program to help law enforcement and health professionals reduce drug diversion and abuse and improve pharmaceutical therapy.
- Crime and Gun Violence- In a landmark 1990 case, Maryland v. Craig, Attorney General Curran successfully urged the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold Maryland's law permitting victims of child abuse to testify via one-way television. Also before the Supreme Court, the Attorney General successfully litigated Maryland v. Wilson (1997). The Attorney General argued that police officers, who routinely conduct traffic stops that sometimes turn deadly, may order the passenger out of the car to allow the officer to safely process the traffic stop. Curran also championed efforts to reduce the epidemic of gun violence. He has worked for better laws and resources to help law enforcement keep guns out of the hands of criminals, including calling for restrictions on the ownership of handguns and establishing a firearms trafficking unit dedicated to the prosecution of persons who unlawfully purchase or attempt to purchase firearms.
- Slot-Machine & Casino Gambling- Curran was a consistent opponent of efforts to bring slot-machine and casino gambling to the State. After his comprehensive study, The House Never Loses and Maryland Cannot Win, he concluded that the costs of slot machines would far outweigh the benefits.
J. Joseph Curran, Jr. is the son of former Baltimore City Council
member J. Joseph Curran, Sr. and the brother of Martin "Mike" Curran who also served on the Baltimore City Council. Another brother, Robert W. Curran
is a current member of the City Council.
Curran is married with four living children. His daughter Catherine Curran O'Malley
is a state district court judge and the wife of Governor Martin J. O'Malley
, and his son, J. Joseph "Max" Curran, is a partner at the Saul Ewing
Awards and honors
- Distinguished Service Award, Mental Health Association of Maryland, 1989
- Special Achievement Award, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, 1989
- Pro Bono Award, Maryland's Volunteer Lawyers Service, 1990
- Elected Official of the Year, Young Democrats of Maryland, 1990
- Achievement Award, American Cancer Society, 1991, 1995
- Award of Appreciation, State Board of Victim Services, 1992
- Certificate of Appreciation, House of Ruth, 1995, 1997
- Lawmaker of the Year, American Heart Association, 1995-96
- Advocate of the Year Award, Smoke Free Maryland, 1997
- Jack Lodge Award (protecting Maryland's citizens from the tobacco industry), 1997 *Outstanding Leadership Award, Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence, 1997
- Breath of Life Award, American Lung Association of Maryland, 1999
- Robert C. Heeney Award, Criminal Law Section, Maryland State Bar Association, 2003
- Chesapeake Champion Award, Waterkeeper Alliance, 2005
- Kelley-Wyman Memorial Award, National Association of Attorneys General, 2006
- Lifetime Achievement Award, Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition, Inc., 2006
- Access to Justice Award, Women's Law Center of Maryland, 2006
- Hopeline Law Enforcement Partnership Award, Verizon Wireless, and Verizon Foundation, 2006 *Public Service Award, American Legacy Foundation, 2007
- First Citizen Award, Maryland Senate, 2007.