Charles F. (Chuck) Baird
By Robert A. Brown
January 4, 2010
Chuck Baird died peacefully on December 26, 2009 at the age of 87, after a long bout with Alzheimer's.
A true ambassador of platform tennis, he was an active participant in both the play and the promotion of the game. He was consistently highly ranked in the years that he competed on the "open" circuit and in the Nationals. Although never a winner in the Nationals, he and his partner Roger Lankenau went as far as the quarter finals. Upon entering the Senior ranks, his first Championship win was in the 50+ Nationals in 1973. What followed thereafter was a record-breaking streak of Senior National Championships, totaling 23 wins in the 45+, 50+, 55+,60+,65+, and 70+ categories. He was also a finalist 15 times in these Senior events. In 1982, he and his partner George Schmid achieved a milestone never accomplished before or since, winning three events, in the 50+, 55+, and 60+ Nationals in the same year.
Aside from these accomplishments on the court, Chuck actively promoted the game by playing exhibitions and instructing, and while on assignment in Toronto as Chairman of Inco, he was an active leader in successfully promoting the game in Canada. He also served on the APTA Board as the Director of Senior activities.
In recognition of his outstanding record and his contributions to the game, Chuck was inducted into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.
We extend our sincere condolences to the family. Chuck will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Submitted by the Baird Family
December 31, 2009
Charles F. Baird died December 26th at his home in Skillman, New Jersey. He was 87 years old.
Mr. Baird was the chairman and chief executive officer of INCO Ltd., the Canadian mining and metals company, from 1977-1987. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Financial Management and then as Under Secretary of the Navy in 1965-1969.Prior to his government service, Mr. Baird’s spent eighteen years in international finance with Exxon (Standard Oil of New Jersey), including executive positions in Paris and London.
Born in Southampton, New York, he graduated from Middlebury College in 1944 and served in the Marine Corps during World War II and again in the Korean War. He was given the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award by Middlebury in 1984.
He served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bucknell University, his wife’s and older son’s alma mater from 1976-1982. Bucknell awarded him an honorary degree in 1986 and their highest honor, the Stephen Taylor Medal for Extraordinary Service to the University in 1995.
Mr. Baird, a devoted racquets enthusiast and competitor, won 23 national senior titles in platform tennis. He was inducted into the Platform Tennis Hall of Fame in 1992.
Mr. Baird served on the boards of Aetna, the Bank of Montreal, the Logistics Management Institute and the Marine Corps University Foundation. He was a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and was the chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Center for Naval Analysis from 1992-1997.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, the former Norma White, four children, Susan Creyke, Stephen Baird, Charles Baird Jr. and Nancy Harwood , a brother, George Baird, two sisters, Anne Lee and Barbara Swift and eight grandchildren. A celebration of his life will be held next summer in Bridgehampton, New York. Contributions in lieu of flowers can be made to Bucknell University for the Baird Family Scholarship, c/o the Development Office,Lewisburg, PA 17837.