Joseph Sachs, 73

Annapolis alderman

October 14, 2007

Joseph Sachs, a former Annapolis alderman and co-founder of the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, died of lung disease Oct. 7 at Anne Arundel Medical Center. The longtime Annapolis resident was 73.

Mr. Sachs was born in Baltimore and grew up on Powhatan Avenue. He graduated in 1951 from Forest Park High School. In 1955, he earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Soon after graduating from college, Mr. Sachs began working for Allegheny Beverage Corp., the Pepsi-Cola bottling franchise that his family owned in Baltimore.

In 1966, he worked on Spiro T. Agnew's gubernatorial campaign. He later became Governor Agnew's assistant appointments officer.

From 1968 to 1970, Mr. Sachs was general manager of the NBA's Baltimore Bullets, now the Washington Wizards.

Mr. Sachs also was an avid supporter of the arts community.

During the 1970s and 1980s, he was president of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and he was chairman of the Historic District Commission in 1980s.

"They knew if they ever needed a volunteer, just call Joe," said his wife of 28 years, the former Jacqueline Rubin.

In 1976, Mr. Sachs was appointed by then-Gov. Marvin Mandel to serve on a commission to study the feasibility of an arts facility in Annapolis. He co-founded the Maryland Hall for Creative Arts in 1979 in the old Annapolis High School on Chase Street in Annapolis.

During the late 1980s, Mr. Sachs opened two restaurants, Peppercorn Gourmet on Admiral Cochrane Drive and Peppercorn, Too on Riva Road, both in Annapolis.

"Joe was the guy who knew all his customers," Mrs. Sachs said. "He knew their vacation schedules. He developed relationships with them."

She said Mr. Sachs also maintained close ties with his former employees.

"This morning, I received a phone call from one of the gals who was one of his cooks," Mrs. Sachs said. "She later got a job at the Starbucks at the Safeway, which is a couple blocks from where we lived. Joe would often see her and drive her home."

After Mr. Sachs sold the restaurants in the mid-1990s, he worked as a substitute teacher in social studies for the Anne Arundel County public school system, said his wife, an English teacher at Magothy River Middle School.

In 1992, Mr. Sachs launched his own political career when he was appointed Ward 4 alderman to finish the final seven months of the term of Ruth Gray, who left the council when she moved to Westminster.

A Republican, Mr. Sachs ran in 1993 for a full term term but lost to Democrat Shepard Tullier, according to an article in The Sun.

In 1997, the paper reported that Mr. Sachs ran again and narrowly defeated Madeleine F. Powers, 403-386.

"In a city where there are more women and more Democrats, it's more difficult for a Republican male to win," Sachs told The Sun at the time. "It was a good race."

In 2001, he was unseated by former city police officer George O. Kelley.

The next year, newly elected Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer appointed Mr. Sachs to be business development coordinator.

In addition, Mr. Sachs was a member of the Annapolis Republican Committee and was an economic consultant for the city of Annapolis.

Mr. Sachs was a car enthusiast who spent much of the 1980s working as a special sales representative for Mercedes-Benz in Eastport, his wife said. Before that, he worked with Capital Motors in Annapolis and Laurel Auto Park.

A celebration of his life was held Thursday at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Sachs is survived by two daughters, Sheri Stracener of Austin, Texas, and Deborah Love of Annapolis; a son, Richard Gladman of Dallas; and seven grandchildren.

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