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Richard Baird ’53

Dick was born in Sioux City, Iowa, the eldest son of Charlotte and John Baird. At Reed he majored in chemistry and wrote his thesis, “An Investigation of the Mixed Anhydride Method of Peptide Synthesis,” advised by Prof. Marshall Cronyn [chemistry 1952–89]. Dick got a PhD in organic chemistry from UCLA and completed postdoctoral studies at Harvard University.

He married Janet Morton of Staten Island, New York, in 1959. Dick taught chemistry for several years at Yale University before moving to Wilmington, where he spent the rest of his career as a research chemist for DuPont. After retiring, Dick volunteered for and ran the local AARP tax program for many years. He was also active with the New Castle Sailing Club, sailed his own boat on Lake Sunapee, and traveled extensively with his wife. Janet, his wife of 58 years, survives him, as do his son, Bruce, and daughter, Catherine Kusmin; his sisters, Joan Jarboe and Susan Ninnis; and his brother, John Baird.

Appeared in Reed magazine: June 2018

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