Raleigh William Baird, physician and educator, the son of William Leroy and Mary Eleanor (Law) Baird, was born in Coushatta, Louisiana, on April 9, 1870. He spent most of his childhood in Cleburne, Texas, and attended Southwestern University in Georgetown, where he received an A.B. degree in 1893. After his graduation he studied medicine at Bellevue Hospital Medical College in New York and received an M.D. degree in 1896. In 1898 he did postgraduate work at St. Bartholomew Hospital in London, England. He returned to Texas in 1900 to practice medicine in Dallas, where he lived for the next forty-one years. In November 1900 Baird married Lavinia Starley Bishop of Waxahachie. They had four children.
As a specialist in internal medicine, Baird was a member of the first staff of St. Paul Hospital and professor of clinical medicine at Baylor University College of Medicine. In 1915 he founded the Dallas Medical and Surgical Clinic, which he served as president until his death. He also helped organize and was president of the North Texas Medical Association; for a while he was president of the Dallas County Medical Society. He was elected director of the Dallas Surgeons Investment Company and was a charter member of the board of stewards of Highland Park Methodist Church, which was organized in his home. Baird was a fellow of the American College of Physicians and a member of the American Medical Association and the Texas Medical Association. He was chairman of the TMA section on pathology in 1914 and the section on medicine and diseases of children in 1921. After a short illness he died at his home on July 13, 1941, and was buried in Hillcrest Mausoleum.