Alex Cooper Auctioneers Celebrates 100 Years in Auction Industry

Family-run business with four generations of leadership will commemorate milestone with series of special events throughout 2024

Going once, going twice, sold! Local audiences have been hearing that phrase for a century. Alex Cooper Auctioneers, one of the largest and most respected auction houses in the country, is celebrating its 100th anniversary throughout 2024. The family owned and operated business specializes in real estate, fine art, jewelry, and antique sales.

The beginning of Alex Cooper Auctioneers can be tracked to the early 20th century, when the company’s namesake was born in a small European town. Cooper and his family immigrated to the United States, settling in Baltimore. In 1924, Cooper entered the auction business to support his family and shortly thereafter launched Alex Cooper Auctioneers.

Focused on expanding his business, Cooper rented his first storefront on North Howard Street and began procuring and selling furniture, antiques, and fine arts, while maintaining a strong real estate division. The success and growth of his operation led Cooper to seek a larger space, which he secured at North Calvert Street. Additional moves followed over the years, culminating in the business’ relocation to its current showroom at 908 York Road in Towson in 1982.

In the early 1950’s, Cooper brought his son Joe into the family business, which continued to grow with the introduction of Oriental rug sales. In 1971, Alex passed away unexpectedly, leaving Joe to carry on the family tradition. Joe eventually enlisted the help of his two nephews and his three sons – Paul, Larry and Brian – who run Alex Cooper Auctioneers to this day, with Joe still serving as President. Larry’s children Matthew and Carley represent the fourth generation of family involvement in the business.

“I’m extremely proud that Alex Cooper Auctioneers is run with my father’s philosophy to this day,” said President Joe Cooper. “It’s rare that a family business reaches the 100-year milestone. I attribute our success to my father, who always emphasized the importance of honesty and integrity, as our reputation has gotten us to where we are today. We look forward to continuing a trajectory of growth for many years to come.”

Alex Cooper has facilitated many notable real estate auctions over the years, including the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., and the Belvedere Hotel in Baltimore, for example. On the fine arts side, highlights include a letter from George Washington, and a World War II-era field marshal baton that sold for over $700,000 in 2010.

The business has continuously adapted and overcome challenges to sustain a level of excellence over the past 100 years. In 2015, Alex Cooper ushered in a new era with the implementation of an online bidding platform, transforming the business as bidders from across the globe were now able to participate in auctions. Around the same time, the business’ York Road headquarters underwent significant renovations, including an expansion of the showroom.

“My grandfather would be so proud of the modernization of his business,” said Vice President Paul Cooper. “The auction industry has evolved greatly over the last 100 years. I’m proud of how we continue to innovate and stay ahead of trends. Our online platform allowed us to expand our geographic reach in ways we never thought were possible. It’s incredible to see that buyers from all over the world look forward to our auctions.”

With an eye toward continued growth moving forward, Alex Cooper is committed to expanding its real estate division. The business has focused on securing real estate licenses in states across the country, and has facilitated sales in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, and Florida in addition to Maryland and Washington, D.C. Alex Cooper is targeting Texas and South Carolina next as the business continues to expand its national footprint.

“It’s an honor to be a fourth-generation leader of Alex Cooper Auctioneers. From the very beginning, I knew I was meant to help lead the family business. As the real estate division leader, I’m passionate about growing the division to serve new markets across the country. Alex Cooper has a strong reputation in the Mid-Atlantic region and in the next 100 years, my goal is to be the go-to auction house for people across the U.S.,” said Matt Cooper.

Throughout 2024, Alex Cooper Auctioneers will be commemorating its centennial anniversary with a series of special events.

One hundred years into their legacy as a family-run company, Alex Cooper Auctioneers has shown no signs of slowing down. Its modernized approach to the ever-changing auction industry, ability to overcome challenges, and dedication to serving the community has contributed to its monumental success.

For more information about Alex Cooper Auctioneers, visit Check out Alex Cooper’s Facebook page and Instagram for special content commemorating their 100th anniversary throughout 2024.

About Alex Cooper Auctioneers

Since 1924, Alex Cooper Auctioneers has been the Mid-Atlantic’s leading auction house auctioning estates, fine antiques and collectibles, Oriental rugs, and more. Based in Towson, Maryland, Alex Cooper holds many auctions annually and deals in commercial and residential real estate. The family-owned and operated auction house is still run by its president Joseph Cooper, who has remained an active part of the business since he was 21. Alex Cooper Auctioneers makes it easy for online bidders to participate in its auctions alongside its in-house bidders.