Before Shahan Rizvi became a government and politics major at the University of Maryland, College Park, the first Muslim and South Asian to be elected chairman of the Howard County Democratic Central Committee, and an at-large delegate to the Democratic National Convention, his political roots could be traced to the presence of his father, Amir Rizvi.
“He got me to run for my fifth grade election as vice president,” recalled Shahan Rizvi (pronounced SHAH-hahn RIZ-vee). “He helped me make the signs, and he really encouraged me to do it. We used to have these morning news announcements in elementary school where they would have the students do morning presentations on a little video camera, and he wanted to make sure that I was a part of that. So he made sure that I was a reporter on that and just really got me in front of the camera talking and encouraging me in the public speaking aspect because he himself could not do it. But he knew I could, and he pushed me in that direction. He was the mastermind all along. Sometimes I think organically, I fell into this stuff, but that isn’t true.”
The elder Mr. Rizvi, a Howard County resident who practiced accounting for more than 30 years through a firm he established in Laurel and participated in efforts to get the Muslim community involved in the American way of life, died Wednesday at St. Agnes Hospital in Baltimore due to pneumonia induced by COVID-19. He was 73.
Mr. Rizvi’s death stunned those who knew him.