Judge Carl W. Bacharach, a former member of the House of Delegates whose 28 years as a Baltimore judge made him the senior member of the Maryland District Court, died of a heart attack yesterday at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He was 69.
An ally of the late Northwest Baltimore political boss James H. "Jack" Pollack, Judge Bacharach first ran for office as a 28-year-old lawyer and won the first of his three terms as a delegate. In 1962, he decided to move from the legislative branch of government to the lowest rung on the judiciary and with the backing of the Pollack machine won election to Baltimore's old People's Court.
He presided for several years in its Rent Court, where he became the first city judge to order rent money held in escrow until a landlord made housing repairs.
Judge Bacharach said later that he felt the need to balance laws written by landlords against growing demand by tenants for equal protection under the law.
Judge Bacharach had served on the District Court since 1971, when it was created to consolidate Maryland's lower courts.
Born in Baltimore, Judge Bacharach was a son of the founder of a local sporting goods business.
He was a 1938 graduate of City College and starred in lacrosse at the University of Maryland, where he received his bachelor's degree in sociology in 1941.
After World War II service in Europe with the Army Air Forces, he completed work on a law degree at the University of Maryland in 1947 and went into private practice.
He was an assistant city solicitor from 1954 until 1958, and a justice of the peace for much of that decade.
Although he was involved in many civic endeavors, Judge Bacharach always had time for his favorite pastimes, fishing and gardening.
Surviving are his wife, the former Irene Messner; a son, Barry E. M. Bacharach, and a daughter, Calla W. Ganz, both of Los Angeles; and a gra nddaughter.
Services will be at 3 p.m. today at the Sol Levinson and Bros. funeral home, 6010 Reisterstown Road.
The family suggested donations to the cardiology department of Johns Hopkins Hospital.