He was a burly, jovial man, and a true student of government. Edmond F. Rovner, during the early 1970s, was a prime mover in modernizing Maryland's antiquated state government operations and making economic development a top priority.
Mr. Rovner, who died Sunday at age 62, masterminded the overhaul of State House operations for Gov. Marvin Mandel, taking 248 independent agencies and fiefdoms and lumping them into 11 cabinet-level departments. It took vision, good planning and a deft political hand to overcome widespread opposition. The result, though, made the fight worthwhile: Maryland's streamlined structure became a model for other states to emulate.
Mr. Rovner then turned his attention to luring businesses to Maryland as the state's first secretary of economic and community development. Later, he spent 12 years as a key political adviser to two Montgomery County executives.
Ed Rovner enjoyed the machinations of government and finding solutions to vexing problems. His contributions to this state's public institutions, in Annapolis and in Rockville, were considerable. He will be missed.