News Brief

Remembering Ambassador Howard H. Baker, Jr.

We are saddened to announce the passing of Council member Howard H. Baker, Jr. Ambassador Baker died on June 26 at his home in Huntsville, TN at the age of 88.

Ambassador Baker served as the 26th U.S. Ambassador to Japan, a position to which President George W. Bush appointed him in 2001. The appointment was yet another milestone in a public service career that began in 1966, when Ambassador Baker became the first Republican popularly elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee.

Ambassador Baker gained national recognition in 1973 as Vice Chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee. Three years later, he was the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention and was a 1980 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination. He concluded his Senate career in 1985 after two terms as Minority Leader (1977 to 1981) and two terms as Majority Leader (1981 to 1985). He was President Reagan’s Chief of Staff from February 1987 to July 1988.

Ambassador Baker was a delegate to the United Nations in 1976 and served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board from 1985 to 1987 and from 1988 to 1990. He was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs. He served on the Board of the Forum of International Policy and was an International Counselor for the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Among his many awards were the 1984 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award, and the Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Performed by an Elected or Appointed Official, which he received in 1982. An accomplished photographer, Ambassador Baker received The American Society of Photographers’ International Award in 1993 and was elected into the Photo Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame in 1994. He received honorary degrees from such institutions as Yale University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Bradley University, Pepperdine University and Centre College.

Ambassador Baker was the author of four books: No Margin for Error (1980); Howard Baker’s Washington (1982); Big South Fork Country (1993) and Scott’s Gulf (2000)

He is survived by his wife, Nancy Kassebaum, as well as two children, two sisters and four grandchildren.

Date Posted

Jun 27, 2014