BAKER--Robert C. Robert C. Baker, leading real estate developer and philanthropist, director, and beloved husband, father, grandfather and brother, died peacefully on November 22, 2020. He was 85 years old. Robert founded and served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of National Realty Development Corp., one of the US' largest privately-owned real estate development companies, controlling 22 million square feet of retail space in 76 shopping centers across 16 states. He was a member of the Board of HBC, which owns Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH and Canada's Hudson's Bay. He had also served on the Boards of City & Suburban Savings Bank and the Retail Opportunity Investments Corp. He was Executive Director of Gerald Ford's election campaign for New York State in 1976. Together with his wife of 30 years, Christina Baker, Robert gave generously to numerous educational, medical, cultural and Jewish causes. These included charities in New York, Greenwich and Palm Beach where the couple resided. Robert was a proud alumnus of Yale University, where he received both his Bachelor of Arts and Law Degree. In 2018, Yale University named a new academic, social, and residential hub for law students, Robert C. and Christina Baker Hall, in honor of the couple's gift toward its development. The building was the school's first permanent physical expansion since 1931. He and his wife also established the Nathan Baker Professorship of Law in honor of his father. He also served as trustee and treasurer of the Guggenheim Museum and a member of the Museum's Executive Committee, and a Director of Johns Hopkins Medicine. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his daughters Lauren (Scott) Pinkus and Ashley Baker, his sons Richard (Lisa) Baker and Nelson Baker; his grandchildren Emma and Francesca Richman, Bettina (Thomas) Obersteiner, and Henry, Jack, Serena, Anna and Veronica Baker; and his brother Gerald (Susan) Baker. Funeral services will be held privately. The family requests those who wish to express sympathy consider making a donation to the Central Park Conservancy in Robert's memory.
Published in New York Times on Nov. 25, 2020.