Carle A. Jackson, 88 insurance executive


Carle A. Jackson, retired insurance executive and a former Maryland Racing Commissioner, died Monday of complications of a long illness at Pickersgill in Towson. He was 88.

An insurance underwriter and broker for more than 60 years, Mr. Jackson retired in 1992 from Alexander & Alexander, an insurance firm which took over Riall Jackson & Co. in 1968. Riall Jackson & Co. had been founded in 1904 by Mr. Jackson's father, Howard W. Jackson, four-term mayor of Baltimore.

"He had a list of traditional Baltimore accounts as long as your arm," said Roland Forster, senior account manager and friend for 20 years. "I think everyone commented on hearing of his death that he was one of the last of the genuine gentleman."

A tall, elegant man with a penchant for conservative suits, old-fashioned high starched collars which he purchased in England, and narrow conservative foulards of blue, Mr. Jackson was remembered "as a very attractive and striking man who was noticeable the moment he stepped out onto the street," said Margaret Fiedler, who worked with him for 41 years.

As a former Maryland Polo Club polo player and horseman who rode into his 70s, Mr. Jackson was appointed to the Maryland Racing Commission by Gov. Millard Tawes in 1959. At his retirement in 1978 he had served the longest since the commission was founded in the 1920s.

"He still offered his wisdom and counsel," said Frank Hopkins, a member of the commission. "He was a prime mover of the Maryland-Bred Fund Rules and Regulations that established bonus money for Maryland bred horses that won races at local tracks."

In 1954, he conceived the idea for an opening-day parade that welcomed the Orioles to Baltimore with his friend Clarence Miles, late Baltimore lawyer and the baseball team's first president.

Mr. Jackson was born on Broadway and grew up in the city's Homeland section. He attended city schools and earned his bachelor's degree in 1928 from St. John's College in Annapolis.

He initially worked for the city highways and audit bureaus before entering the insurance business. During World War II, he served in the Navy and later transferred to the Coast Guard, from which he was discharged in 1945 with the rank of lieutenant.

The first of his two marriages was in 1936 to Metropolitan Opera Co. star Rosa Ponselle. They built Villa Pace, their Green Spring Valley home, which later became a salon for artists and singers. The couple divorced in 1950.

Mr. Jackson lived for many years in the Warrington Apartments on North Charles Street in Guilford and later moved to the Melrose East Apartments before moving to the Towson retirement community a year ago.

He was a member of the Maryland Club and the Elkridge Club.

His son, Edward C. Jackson, died in 1980.

A memorial service was to be conducted at 2 p.m. today in the chapel of Second Presbyterian church, 4200 St. Paul St.

He is survived by his wife of 33 years, the former Margaret Jefferson; a stepdaughter, Marcy Rich, of Annapolis; and five grandchildren.

Memorial contributions may be made to the church; or Pickersgill, 615 Chestnut Ave., Towson 21204.

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