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Mfume Shares His Memories Of Schaefer

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The funeral for William Donald Schaefer will draw leaders from across the state and the country.

One of the people set to speak at the service is former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume. Mfume says Schaefer had a work ethic that he had never seen before, and hasn't seen since.

Jessica Kartalija spoke with Mfume as he prepares to pay tribute to a friend.

When it came to politics in Baltimore City, Kweisi Mfume and William Donald Schaefer didn't always see eye-to-eye.

"I don't think anybody could get under his skin more than I could, and no one could get under my skin more than he," said Mfume.

Over the years things changed.

"I believe, and I honestly believe that Mr. Mfume can be the one who can do the job," said Schaefer in 1999.

Schaefer endorsed Mfume as candidate for mayor.

"The city can't continue to lose population. The city can't continue to be a haven for criminals. It has to be a city where everyone in the city feels a part of it," said Schaefer at the time.

Now, as he prepares to speak at Schaefer's April 27 funeral, Mfume told WJZ he will talk about the quieter side of Schaefer, a man Mfume says was more shy than people realize, except when it came to politics.

"He believed so much in using public office to help other people, that when he saw people using public office to help themselves, it turned him off completely," said Mfume.

Mfume says through the years, he and Schaefer became the best of friends.

"We both had very strong passions about the city. We both had a desire to get things done as quickly as possible. Most of all, we both needed each other," said Mfume.

Click here for more information about Schaefer's funeral plans.

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