Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with John Baker

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Jewish Heritage Collection: Oral history interview with John Baker
Waites, Robin
Baker, John D., 1955-
John Baker, born in 1955 in Columbia, South Carolina, recounts the history of Baker & Baker, the law practice turned real estate development firm established by his father, David Baker, and his father's first cousin, Lee Baker, after World War II. David married JoAnn Schreiber of Brunswick, Georgia, and they raised five children in Columbia. Growing up Jewish, John remarks that although the Bakers were not very observant, they were intensely proud of their heritage. He and his twin brother, Frank, became bar mitzvahs in a double ceremony at Tree of Life Synagogue, attended by prominent South Carolina politicians, including Strom Thurmond, who knew David Baker through his civic engagement. John notes his admiration for his paternal grandmother, Clara Kligman (Kligerman) Baker, a Polish immigrant who ran a grocery store in Columbia. After earning his business degree from the University of South Carolina, the interviewee worked for real estate developer Walter Keenan. In 1979 John joined his father and Lee Baker in their firm as a property manager. Twelve years later he married Marcie Stern of Columbia; they have a daughter, Gabrielle. In the mid-1990s John and Lee Baker's son-in-law, Steven Anastasion, took over daily operations at Baker & Baker. John discusses his support of Israel and describes his involvement in the local community. The transcript contains corrections made by the interviewee during proofing.
Jewish Heritage Collection Oral Histories
Contributing Institution:
College of Charleston Libraries
Media Type:
Oral Histories
Topical Subject:
Jews--South Carolina--Columbia--Interviews, Jewish businesspeople--South Carolina--Columbia--History, Jews --South Carolina--Columbia--Social life and customs
Shelving Locator:
Mss 1035-451
S.C. County:
Richland County (S.C.)
Internet Media Type:
Digitization Specifications:
Mp3 derivative audio created with Audacity software. Archival masters are wav files.
Preferred Citation:
John Baker, audio interview by Robin Waites, 03 March 2016, Mss 1035-451, Special Collections, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.
Copyright Status Statement:
Copyright © College of Charleston Libraries.
Access Information:
For more information contact Special Collections, Addlestone Library, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC 29424.