Maryland real estate leader Jim O’Conor dies at 94

Founded O’Conor, Piper & Flynn, one of largest real estate firms in the region

Maryland Real Estate Leader Jim O’Conor Dies at 94
A photo illustration of Maryland real estate leader Jim O’Conor (Getty, O’Conor, Piper & Flynn)

A prominent figure in Maryland’s real estate scene, who co-founded one of the state’s largest residential brokerages, died last month at the age of 94.

Jim O’Conor got his start in real estate in the early 1950s, ultimately founding O’Conor, Piper & Flynn, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Born in Baltimore to Mary Eugenia Byrnes and Herbert R. O’Conor Sr., a former Maryland governor and U.S. senator, Jim O’Conor attended Loyola Blakefield and Loyola University Maryland, 

O’Conor initially worked as a brick salesman before obtaining his real estate license in 1953. His career took off when he joined the W. Burton Guy & Co. firm, where he specialized in home sales. In 1961, he became a co-founding partner of O’Conor, Byrnes & Flynn, later rebranded as O’Conor & Flynn. In 1984, O’Conor played a pivotal role in founding another significant real estate firm, O’Conor, Piper & Flynn.

Under O’Conor’s leadership, the company grew to 2,300 agents and 53 offices across Maryland, Pennsylvania and Delaware, becoming the largest independently owned real estate company in Maryland. 

In 1998, O’Conor & Flynn was sold to National Realty Trust Inc., marking the end of an era for the independently owned giant. Even in retirement, Jim O’Conor remained active in the real estate community, retiring in 2003 as a senior vice president of NRT Mid-Atlantic Inc.

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Beyond his professional success, O’Conor was known for his philanthropic endeavors and community involvement. He served on the boards of various institutions, including the University of Maryland Medical System, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and Loyola University Maryland. 

His impact extended to charitable work with organizations such as the Mission Helpers of the Sacred Heart, Stella Maris and the Signal 13 Foundation.

He is survived by six children, 13 grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren. 

—Ted Glanzer

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