(March 1, 1918—June 19, 1988), a Democrat, was a U.S. Congresswoman who represented the 5th congressional district of Maryland from January 3, 1975 to January 3, 1981. On October 13, 1980, Spellman suffered an incapacitating heart attack, rendering her comatose for the final years of her life. Her seat was declared vacant until Steny Hoyer won it in special election. The Baltimore-Washington Parkway, a scenic north-south highway in Maryland, is dedicated to Spellman. Before being elected to public office, Gladys Spellman was an educator in the Prince George's County public school system, president of the Prince George's County Council of PTA's, as well as chairwoman of the National Mental Health Study Center. In 1962, she became the first woman elected to the Board of Commissioners of Prince George's County. She later served as chairperson of that body, and as a member of the Prince George's County Council. In 1972 she was awarded the highest honor that could be bestowed by county officials nationwide when she became the first woman elected president of the National Association of Counties.
Gladys Noon Spellman
Last updated: April 10, 2015