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In Memory of Gwendolyn Britt

News came early this morning that Prince George's County Sen. Gwendolyn T. Britt, 66, died after being rushed to a hospital of an apparent stroke or heart attack.

The death of the civil rights and community activist shocked colleagues who said she had begun taking a bigger role in the state Senate, including plans to sponsor a bill that would allow marriage rights for same-sex couples. She represented Landover Hills, Langley Park and Adelphi and had just been elected chairwoman of the county's delegation.

"The legislative arena is one filled with people with sharp elbows. She was the antithesis of that," said Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Prince George's). "She was warm, caring, honorable, principled and fair."

Share your memories of Britt here or offer your condolences.

From Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown

Today, Maryland lost one of its brightest civil rights leaders. Senator Gwen Britt was a principled, active and fair-minded voice for equality. Senator Britt worked diligently and tirelessly for Prince George's County and the state of Maryland.

She encouraged all of us to find the best within ourselves and do whatever we could to improve our communities. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends as we mourn her loss.

By Phyllis Jordan  |  January 12, 2008; 1:09 PM ET
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