Dr. Marvin L ‘Doc’ Cheatham, Sr.
‘May the work I’ve done speak for me’ - is a quote epitomizing the life, service, and work of ‘Doc’ Cheatham.
A Baltimore native who may be the only person in America that has served as local president for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, National Action Network, 2 Local Phi Beta Sigma Alumni Chapters, the City Election Board and 1st African President of the Maryland Association of Election Officials.
Marvin’s legacy may have been written, in some great part, on Saturday, July 22, 2017, 2 days before his 67th birthday, when the City of Baltimore designated the 1500 block of N. McKean Avenue, where he was the visionary and developer of the “Easterwood/Sandtown Park & Playground, as “Marvin ‘Doc’ Cheatham Way’ – known as the ‘McKean Miracle.’
Here in the City of Baltimore and State of Maryland Marvin has, since 1971, registered more voters that anyone. Being inspired by the late great Fannie Lou he can also takes credit for leading the initial successful legislative movement to obtain voting rights for Maryland former felons though his vision and creation of the Maryland Voting Rights Restoration Coalition. Through this organization he produced and co-hosted a 2-hour radio show on WOLB 1010 and a 1-hour public access cable television show entitled ‘Voting Rights Today.’
Dr. Cheatham, over 45 years later, is still having his expertise requested to inspire, educate, and train citizens on the great importance of voting.
The late former Maryland Senator Clarence Mitchell, III, ‘The Bear,’ once said that NAACP Past President Lillie Carroll Jackson would be proud of him. C4, former MD State Senator and son of ‘The Bear’ labeled him the Lion in Annapolis. And MD former Senator Larry Young called him ‘The 16th Councilman and 48TH State Senator.’
He honors most the Honorary Doctorate Degree awarded him by Sojourner Douglass College in 2009.
‘Doc’ is a Life Member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. and has received the highest award that any Sigma can receive which is the Distinguished Service Chapter. Out of over 100,000 members less than 200 members have received this distinction and he is #124. He served as International Coordinator for Phi Beta Sigma for the Million Man March which was hosted by Phi Beta Sigma.
He was a lead Plaintiff in the winning lawsuit against then Mayor Martin O’Malley and the City of Baltimore for “illegal arrest.”
Also, a Life Member of the NAACP he is the past local branch president for the award-winning Baltimore City Branch and has served twice as the NAACP Maryland State Conference Political Action Chair.
Coppin State University Alumni Life Member.
He has escorted more Black and White youth, over 7,000, to Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball games through the Orioles Reach Program.
Through his leadership as the President of Matthew A. Henson Neighborhood Association he led the successful initiative on July 1, 2015 that called for the Mayor of Baltimore City to remove the Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee’s confederate statues from Wyman Park in Baltimore City.
In 2021 he received Iota Phi Lambda - Kappa Chapter’s Living Maker of Black History 2021 Award.
Interview with Kimberly Klacik
12 Significant Accomplishments
1. Local President SCLC NAACP NAN only one in America
2. Since 1971 registered more in MD than anyone
3. 1st A.A. Pres MD Assoc of Election Officials
4. 1st MD bill giving former felons the right to vote.
5. Passage of Bill doubling fines selling liquor to children
6. Passage of Bill adding ACLU MD Balto to civilian Review Board
7. Won lawsuit against Balto for illegal arrest as Plaintiff with ACLU MD NAACP and Pres Balto NAACP
8. Removal of Jackson Lee Statue
9. 1st Computerized election board as President
10. Created Easterwood Sandtown Park and Playground and naming of 2 streets as Marvin Doc Cheatham Way. I don't plan on dying - but.
11. INTERNATIONAL COORDINATOR REPRESENTING PHI BETA SIGMA WHICH HOUSED THE MILLION MAN MARCH IN 1995. "ORGANIZER of the million man march"
12 . President freshman class Coppin State Teachers College 1968 which held BOYCOTT for school funding