PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY, Md. (WUSA9) -- Former Prince George's County Executive Wayne Curry died Wednesday morning in his home after a long battle with lung cancer.
The 63-year-old Curry previously served as the top political post of executives in Prince George's County. He is credited with transforming the county, bringing in major development, reforming the police department, and convincing the Washington Redskins to relocate there.
Prince George's County's first African-American county executive, Curry of late had spent much of his time advocating against smoking. Curry had been a smoker for many years.
Democratic Lt. Governor Anthony Brown said in a statement Wednesday that with Curry's death, the county and the state have lost a leader who fought "for justice, fairness, economic equality, and a brighter future for all of our children." Brown says Curry had "a passion for service and a lifelong commitment to advocacy."
Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III, released this statement following:
"The passing of Wayne K. Curry is a genuine loss for Prince George's County, the State of Maryland and the Washington Region. He was more than a great leader and iconic personality in this County. He was a tremendously courageous and truly remarkable person who touched and changed so many lives. As Prince George's County's first African American County Executive, he was a visionary who raised the standards for the County and its profile locally and nationally.
"This County and its residents owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. He was a son of this great County and he was extraordinarily proud of it and devoted to it. He constantly reminded us how important his hometown was to the region, and to the nation, because it symbolizes what so many people dreamed could happen in America: an affluent majority African American jurisdiction. From National Harbor to FedEx Field, Wayne Curry laid the foundation for the Prince George's County we know today.
"For me, this loss is deeply personal. He was an amazingly generous friend, colleague and supporter. He was a mentor to me and to so many others. I know the residents of Prince George's County join me as we express our sincere sympathy to Wayne's family and to his many friends who loved him so much."
Governor O'Malley issued the following statement:
"Today I join the Prince George's County community and Marylanders across the State in mourning the loss of my friend and one of Maryland's most forward- thinking leaders, Wayne Curry. As Prince George's County Executive, Mr. Curry led the County through one of the most transformative periods in its history, overseeing the County's explosive population and economic growth.
"Over the course of the eight years we worked together, I witnessed his tireless advocacy on behalf of the people he served and his fearless efforts to advance causes beneficial to Prince George's County and the African-American community statewide. Katie and I, along with many around our State, offer our deepest condolences to the family of County Executive Curry."