Edgar M. Boyd, 85, civic leader, investment banker

September 26, 2005|By Melissa Harris | Melissa Harris,Sun reporter

Edgar M. Boyd, a civic leader and former chairman of what is now the Ferris Baker Watts investment banking firm, died of cancer Saturday at Blakehurst Health Center in Towson. He was 85 and lived in the Village of Cross Keys.

Mr. Boyd oversaw the merger of Baltimore's Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Baltimore Committee, a group of chief executive officers from about 100 large companies, and pushed efforts to market the city and its port during an economic downturn in the late 1970s.

During a 1977 speech to the chamber, in which he released the results of a study showing that Baltimore lacked a national identity, Mr. Boyd accused business leaders of "indifference and apathy," and called for a level of "financial and personal commitment unmatched in the recent history of the area."

Mr. Boyd, who spent all but 18 years of his life in Baltimore, was born in Hagerstown and graduated from St. Paul's School in Brooklandville, where he lettered in football, basketball and lacrosse. He played the same three sports at Washington and Lee University, attaining the greatest success in lacrosse.

Mr. Boyd is listed as an All-Dixie League selection from 1939 to 1941, according to the university, which inducted him into its athletic Hall of Fame in 2002. He was a midfielder and captain of the lacrosse team in 1940, leading Washington and Lee to a league championship. He moved to goalie the next year.

He also served as senior class president and president of the Troubadors, a performing arts club. He graduated in 1942 with a degree in English and German. He served as a Navy pilot during World War II, achieving the rank of lieutenant.

He joined the investment house of Baker, Watts & Co. in 1946, helping rural banks on the Eastern Shore invest their municipal bond portfolios, and then moved to the Baltimore office, said Randy Brinton, senior vice president of Ferris Baker Watts, whom Mr. Boyd mentored and who will assume responsibility for Mr. Boyd's clients.

He became a general partner in the firm in 1959 and served as chairman in the early 1980s. After the merger, he became a limited partner in Ferris Baker Watts.

Mr. Boyd never retired from the firm. While living in Pompano Beach, Fla., he would commute to Baltimore, spending five days here and then 10 days there, said his daughter Diana Ingraham of Reisterstown. Until his health declined, he continued to go to the office two or three times a week.

Mr. Boyd also never quit sports, taking up tennis at age 40 and rising to a national ranking in senior doubles, said his longtime friend and tennis partner Jack Luetkemeyer Jr. of Baltimore.

"We'd play street tennis in the middle of the night in Guilford," Mrs. Ingraham said. "Here was a 40-year-old in the middle of the road with a kid. I attribute all of my tennis, all of my athletics to him. That was our bond."

Friends and associates said Mr. Boyd had a gregarious personality. At an event launching the clipper ship The Pride of Baltimore, Mr. Boyd jumped overboard into the waters of the Inner Harbor, recalled Christopher C. Hartman, a friend and former chamber of commerce executive director.

The event on the ship, which was filled with politicians and business executives, was turning dull, Mr. Hartman said, so Mr. Hartman's wife took the plunge first, followed quickly by Mr. Boyd.

"He and his wife, Debbie, they were a devastating couple," Mr. Hartman said. "The room lit up wherever they went."

Several friends said Mr. Boyd was once chosen as one of the sexiest men in Baltimore by Baltimore Magazine.

"He was a silver fox, but not in the sense that he ran around," Mrs. Ingraham said. "He was a very good-looking man. He loved to schmooze and he was very good at it."

Mr. Boyd was a communicant for more than 60 years at St. David's Episcopal Church of Roland Park, where he served as a member of the vestry.

He is a former president of the Rotary Club of Baltimore and the Bond Club, a group of securities specialists from brokerage houses, banks and insurance companies. He was a former member of the L'Hirondelle, Elkridge and Merchant's clubs. He also served on the boards of the Maryland General Hospital, the Baltimore Life Insurance Co. and Life of Maryland Inc.

In 1987, he received Washington and Lee's distinguished alumni award, its highest alumni honor.

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. tomorrow at St. David's Church on Roland Avenue.

Surviving, in addition to his daughter, are his wife of 43 years, the former Deborah Hooper; two sons, David G. Boyd of Keswick, Va., and Harold G. Hathaway III of Baltimore; three other daughters, Sally Boyd of Pittsboro, N.C., Ellyn Boyd of Bel Air, and Katherine H. Murray of Cockeysville; and four grandchildren.

melissa.harris@baltsun.com

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