John Baird, prominent Chicago real estate developer and champion of fair housing, open space and historic preservation, was the fourth generation of Bairds to run the company. During his more than 60 years with the company, he grew Baird & Warner into one of the largest residential real estate services companies in the country.
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."
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. Mr. Baird served as chairman of the board at Baird & Warner until his death at 98 years old.