The judge

January 11, 2002

J. HAROLD Grady became a leading judge because he didn't like being Baltimore's 40th mayor.

His three years at City Hall were times of transition.

He was the bridge between two legendary mayors, Democrat Thomas J. D'Alesandro Jr. and Theodore R. McKeldin, the last Republican to rule Charm City. Behind-the-scenes political power was also changing - from Jack Pollack to Irv Kovens, who was Mr. Grady's benefactor.

Downtown also was changing. Construction of Charles Center, the city's first ambitious business rejuvenation project, started in 1961 during his administration.

Yet a year later, Mr. Grady decided he had had enough. He left government and kissing babies and became first a judge and later chief of the city's felony and civil courts. He was respected for his even temper and thoughtfulness.

Few elected officials can walk away from a public office and never look back without regret. Mr. Grady could. His love was law, not politics.

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