On June 1, industry veteran Jordan Baris, founder of Jordan Baris, Inc. passed away.
Jordan Baris was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. to Joseph and Ida (Gleischenhaus) Baris, and grew up alongside his younger sister, Barbara.
Baris graduated Erasmus Hall High School before enlisting in the Navy, where he served in the Pacific, primarily in the Philippines, during and following the end of WWII. Returning home, he graduated from City College, where he developed an interest in real estate.
After quickly establishing himself as a very successful real estate agent, Baris moved to New Jersey in 1952 and founded his company, Jordan Baris, Inc. Sixty-eight years later, the brokerage is still in business as Jordan Baris Real Living under the leadership of Ken Baris.
While building the business, Baris also served as president of numerous chambers of commerce, real estate boards and other civic organizations. Twice, he was honored with the REALTORS® Community Service Award—one of very few people to be recognized multiple times.
In the 1970s, looking to find practical, sensitive solutions to the crime problems that plagued many cities and towns, Baris formed the New Jersey Coalition for Safe Communities. The Coalition brought together business, labor, religious and civic leaders to understand each other’s perspectives and developed practical solutions to reduce crime and help people live more safely and with less fear.
While in the Navy, Baris developed an interest in flying, which became his primary hobby for many years. He owned a Beechcraft Bonanza, which he flew cross-country several times and locally on the weekends. He also picked up tennis, which he enjoyed playing several times a week until just a few years ago.
Baris enjoyed a wonderful 58-year marriage to Marjorie (Cohen), living in Newark and West Orange while raising three children: Russell, Joan Terry and Kenneth. They greatly enjoyed five grandchildren: Deanna, Jodie, Reid, Aidan and Holden.
“For decades, I’ve been told almost every single day by people how much my father affected their lives in a positive way with his kindness, wisdom, compassion and the satisfaction he received from the success of others,” said Ken Baris. “While he was a great businessman, he was always a gentleman first, and truly lived by his rule that the nice guy can finish first. He built a business that endures and leaves a legion of people who were inspired by him.
“I think he achieved great things and, in my book, finished first.”
On Baris’s passing, John Featherston, CEO and publisher of RISMedia, said, “Our industry lost one of our unsung leaders last week when Jordan Baris passed away. A World War II veteran, Jordan was a shining example of what has now become known as ‘The Greatest Generation.’ For more than 68 years, Jordan, as a proud member of the real estate profession, honorably served the needs of his communities, assisting people in achieving the American Dream of homeownership. Jordan was blessed to have his son Ken working beside him. Jordan, along with his wife, Marjorie, were regular attendees and honored guests at RISMedia’s annual CEO event in New York City.
“Following Marjorie’s passing, Jordan continued to attend for many years, always meeting new friends and sharing stories with his long-time friends and acquaintances. Jordan was one of the family and the team at RISMedia—Darryl, Maria, Beth, Kara, Anne, Kelli and everyone will miss his smile and softly spoken ‘hello.’ Jordan’s name and spirit will live on in all his friends and family. Ken was educated by the best, his father, and will continue to build the family company to new heights; however, ‘Dad’ will be sorely missed by all. Rest in peace, Jordan.”