Paul Jordan, 92, owned city, Towson photo studios

February 17, 2005

Paul Jordan, who owned and operated a well-known Baltimore photo studio for 40 years, died of heart failure Tuesday at Northwest Hospital Center. He was 92.

He was born and raised Paul Schwarzchild in Munich, Germany, where he began his career as a photographer. After fleeing the rise of Nazism in 1934, he emigrated to New York City and went to work in an uncle's art gallery.

In the late 1930s, he and his wife, the former Gertrude Coller, moved to Baltimore and established a photo studio on Eastern Avenue in Highlandtown.

After becoming a U.S. citizen, he changed his name to Paul Jordan, taking his mother's maiden name.

During World War II, while serving as a combat photographer with the Army in the South Pacific, his wife operated the business.

"He was appointed the Army's representative to work along with Navy photographers taking and processing pictures of the Japanese surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri," said a stepson, Alan Gillis of Owings Mills.

After the war, he expanded the business to include a second studio in Towson, where, in addition to portraiture, he specialized in wedding photography.

His wife died in 1975, and Mr. Jordan sold his business and retired in 1977.

The longtime Pikesville resident was a world traveler and enjoyed skiing into his 80s.

In addition to his stepson, Mr. Jordan is survived by his wife of 25 years, the former Ruth Adleberg; another stepson, Larry Gillis of Finksburg; a stepdaughter, Lynne Coven of Pikesville; 10 grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his son, William Jordan.

Services were yesterday.

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