A Maryland Delegate, a Maryland Senator, and a 1994 Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate walk into a bar.
This might sound like the start to a fantastic bar joke, but to American Joe Miedusiewski, this is just who he is.
Miedusiewski (pronounced “med-uh-chevs-key”), better known to the Baltimore-Annapolis community as “American Joe,” is all of the above. Maryland State Delegate from 1975 to 1988, Maryland State Senator from 1988 to 1995, and Maryland Gubernatorial Candidate in 1994, American Joe is a storied legislator, businessman, and lobbyist.
He also happens to be the son of Frank Miedusiewski, the late owner of American Joe’s, the famous stag bar that was a favorite haunt of Baltimore politicians and locals alike from the early 1920’s to the mid-1990’s. American Joe grew up above the bar and credits his upbringing to what shaped his identity and politics.
However, the American Joe story is more than just the intro of a cheeky bar joke. This week, we’re proud to showcase one of Baltimore’s greatest and most beloved politicians through the eyes of the people who knew him best for a series we’re calling “American Joe Week.” This week, you’ll hear anecdotes from American Joe’s days in the Air Force, to his time as a legislator, his gubernatorial candidacy, and even the time then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton came to shoot pool at his father’s bar.
To get us started, here’s a fun fact: American Joe has been playing the organ since he was in grade school, and was the youngest volunteer church organist at the Veteran’s Hospital in his youth!
Spoiler alert! You’re going to want to grab a plate of coddies and mustard and a glass of orange juice — we’re bringing you exclusive American Joe content all week.