This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

John W. Baird Dies At 98

CHICAGO, Dec. 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- John W. Baird, prominent Chicago real estate developer and champion of fair housing, open space and historic preservation, died on December 27 in a Glenview hospice after suffering a stroke eight days earlier. He was 98.

(Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131228/CG38791 )

Mr. Baird was known for his understated style and dedication to causes that often seemed at odds with his personal financial interests—prompting the architect Laurence O. Booth, with whom he worked on many projects, to deem him "the ultimate American, the Gary Cooper of real estate."

A native of Evanston and longtime resident of Winnetka, Mr. Baird received a degree in history with distinction from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, in 1938 and a master's degree in business from Harvard University in 1940 before serving as an Army captain during World War II.

After the war, he joined Baird & Warner, the venerable Chicago real estate company founded in 1855 and owned by his family since 1860. In 1963, he succeeded his father, Warner G. Baird, as president of Baird & Warner and moved aggressively to open sales offices throughout the city and suburbs and expand the company's commercial mortgage operation.

Mr. Baird served as president of the company until 1991, when he was succeeded by his son, Stephen W. Baird, the fifth-generation member of the family to lead the company. Until shortly before his death, Mr. Baird served as chairman of the board of Baird & Warner, which currently operates 23 brokerage offices with sales of more than $5 billion annually in northern Illinois as well as mortgage and title units.

Beginning in the 1960s, Mr. Baird led efforts to end housing discrimination in Chicago. As president of the Metropolitan Housing and Planning Council, in 1962 he became something of a pariah to fellow members of the Chicago Real Estate Board by appearing before the Chicago City Council and calling for enactment of an open-housing ordinance.

The ordinance, which passed after a heated debate in 1963, ostensibly barred discrimination in real estate sales "against any person because of his race, color, religion, national origin or ancestry"—a promise that would long remain unfulfilled—in the face of industry policies that perpetuated de facto discrimination against blacks, Hispanics, Jews and other minorities.

1 of 4

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,024.06 +183.54 1.03%
S&P 500 2,108.29 +22.78 1.09%
NASDAQ 5,005.3910 +63.9670 1.29%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs