The son of James Hill Holmes and Septima Glover Toomer Holmes, he was born in Hendersonville, North Carolina, but his family soon moved to Charleston, where Baron received his early education in the public schools.
He combined his undergraduate work including two years at the College of Charleston with law school requirements, and in 1930 received his B.A. and LL.B. degrees from the University of North Carolina and was admitted to the North Carolina and South Carolina Bar in 1930. He began practice with Douglas McKay, Sr., in Columbia where he specialized in the defense of insurance litigation. In September 1934 he returned to Charleston, and two years later became a member of the law firm of Hagood, Rivers & Young. Mr. Holmes served with Naval Intelligence during World War II. In 1965, the firm of Hagood, Rivers & Young dissolved, and he formed the firm of Holmes & Thomson with Bernard M. Thomson, Jr. A member of Grace Episcopal Church, he served as a vestryman and warden. Member of the Charleston County, South Carolina and American Bar Associations, served as President of the Charleston Bar and as Chairman of its first Legal Aid Committee, American Judicature Society. National Association of Railroad Trail Counsel, Defense Research Institute, South Carolina Defense Trial Attorneys’ Association, counsel to Folly Beach Township, and attorney and secretary of the Board of Trustees for Ashley Hall School.
A member of Charleston American Legion, Charleston Elks, president of Carolina Yacht Club, Charleston Lions Club and St. Andrews’ Society.
He never doubted that trial work was an adversary proceeding. His diligence, hard work and patience, as well as his loyalty and devotion to his clients became legendary.
In 1943 he married Florence Gordon and was the father of Dewar Holmes Norton (Mrs. David) and A. Baron Holmes, IV.