One of Ocean City’s most famous mayors was the late eight-term Mayor Harry W. Kelley, Jr. He was born in Ocean City, served as a lifeguard on the beach patrol and was a city councilman for 16 years before being elected mayor in 1970.
His fights with the Army Corps of Engineers over beach revitalization were legendary and his ride into the 13th Street surf on a bulldozer gained national media attention in 1977. At the height of the gas crisis in 1979, Kelley had the city buy gas by the tanker trucker load and promised summer visitors that if they came to Ocean City they would have enough gas to get home.
Kelley died at the age of 66 and his funeral in February 1985 was one of the largest ever held in Ocean City. Harry Kelley will long be remembered.
To read more about Ocean City’s history and purchase Mann’s book, click to www.vanishingoc.com.
Photo courtesy of Ocean City Life Saving Station Museum