Larry Gibson, Commencement Speaker 2013

Published Thursday, April 18th, 2013

In 1972, Gibson became the first African American law professor at the University of Virginia . Two years later, Gibson accepted a faculty position at the University of Maryland School of Law.

Larry GibsonLarry S. Gibson grew up in Baltimore and earned his high school diploma from Baltimore City College.  From 1960 to 1964, Gibson attended Howard University in Washington D.C., where he was the student body president, the Chairperson of D.C. Students for Civil Rights, and a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity.   In  1967, he earned his law degree from Columbia University in New York City.   He has received honorary doctorate degrees from Morgan State University and Sojourner  Douglass College.


In 1972, Gibson became the first African American law professor at the University of Virginia . Two years later, Gibson accepted a faculty position at the University of Maryland School of Law, where he continues to teach Evidence, Race and the Law, and Election Law.

Professor Gibson has researched and designed several exhibits, articles, newspaper series, and other presentations on the history of civil rights and African American lawyers in Maryland.  Professor Gibson was the principal advocate for the law passed by the Maryland General Assembly that renamed the BWI Thurgood Marshal Airport.

His book, Young Thurgood:The Making of a Supreme Court Justice (Prometheus Books 2012), describes the environment, people and events that shaped Thurgood Marshall's attitudes, work habits, and priorities in his formative years.  

Larry Gibson began managing political campaigns in Maryland with the 1968 election of Judge Joseph Howard and the 1970 elections of State‚Äôs Attorney Milton Allen and Congressman Parren Mitchell.  He served as campaign manager for Baltimore Mayor Kurt Schmoke in his successful elections in 1987, 1991, and 1995.  During the administration of President Jimmy Carter, Larry Gibson served in the U.S. Justice Department as Associate Deputy Attorney General and as Director of the National Economic Crimes Project.  In 1992, he was Maryland State Chairman of the Clinton/Gore presidential campaign.

Since 2001, Gibson has served as a campaign consultant and political advisor to African political leaders, including Ellen Johnson Sirleaf the President of Liberia and Marc Ravalomanana the former President of Madagascar.

Gibson is on the Board of Trustees of the Maryland Historical Trust and is Vice Chairman of the Baltimore City Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation.  He is Chairman of the Commission to Coordinate the Study, Commemoration, and Impact of the History and Legacy of Slavery in Maryland. He served six years on the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners.

Since 1968,  Larry Gibson has also practiced  law in Maryland. He is of counsel to the law firm Shapiro Sher Guinot & Sandler.

In the course of business and pleasure, Larry Gibson has visited more than 65 countries in the world.


For more information on the 2013 Graduation, please visit the 2013 Commencement Site.