Morton Baum Obituary, Death – We Are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Morton A. Baum Alex Baum, ex-mayor of Seal Beach, died. On November 16, he died of Parkinson’s surrounded by family. 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, Navy vet, pharmacist, union leader. 1961: He moved to Seal Beach. The Baums resisted overdevelopment in Seal Beach while raising their family. He chaired RFK’s 1968 Orange County campaign.
Baum ran for Seal Beach City Council after the Santa Barbara oil spill. His grassroots campaign won. In 1970, he became mayor. Baum pushed back oil drilling three kilometers off the California coast. Under his leadership, Seal Beach bought public property to construct a green belt surrounding Electric Avenue and Gum Grove Park, implemented additional limits to discourage high-density development, and rebuilt the Seal Beach pier and Leisure World Library. Seal Beach lauded him in 1980.
Vienna welcomed Baum in 1937. Anschluss in 1938 gave Nazi Germany Austria. They boarded RMS Aquitania for New York after crossing the Alps. Austrians survived the Holocaust. Mort’s grandma owned a Brooklyn cafe. Baum loved the Yankees, Mets, and Irish. Long Island University’s Brooklyn College of Pharmacy. Chicago pharmacy, 1959. They there. After his Navy service, they married at Great Lakes in 1961.
USS Princeton was Baum’s ship. They rented an Old Town apartment in Seal Beach. 1964: They moved to Seal Beach’s Marina Hill. Baum became a pharmacist in Seal Beach, Long Beach, Rossmoor, and Cypress in 1963. Thrifty pharmacist joins UFCW (UFCW). 1978: Executive board member became field rep. Pay and perks were raised. Field Director for UFCW 324. He managed union negotiations and politics until 1997.
Baum remained active after leaving government in 1971. Seal Beach Historical Society, Amigos de Bolsa Chica co-founders. He backed Sherry’s election to Huntington Beach Union High and Coast Community College. He’s concerned with American politics through experience and observation. 2003 NYT: “Politics was about coalitions, right? Politics is finally the weapon of mass destruction we’ve been seeking: a fatal version of “Last Comic Standing” America’s future shouldn’t be like this.”
Morton A. Baum is survived by his wife Sherry L. Baum, sons Randall Liss and Geoffrey Baum, and granddaughters Sarah, Anna, Sam, and Amy. Predeceased by Kris Baum and Jason Liss. A monument is coming. The family requested donations to The Met, Jewish Family & Children’s Service, or Helen Sanders Cat Protection and Welfare Society in Seal Beach.