The late Howard H. Baker, Jr. (1925-2014) was a BPC co-founder. He served three terms as a senator from Tennessee, and was the Senate majority leader from 1981 to 1985. He was President Reagan’s chief of staff from February 1987 to July 1988.
Baker gained national recognition in 1973 as vice chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee. Three years later, he was keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention and was a 1980 candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.
A delegate to the United Nations in 1976, Baker had extensive foreign policy experience. He served on the president’s Foreign Intelligence Board from 1985 to 1987 and from 1988 to 1990. He was also 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 are 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.
In 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him as U.S. ambassador to Japan.
Baker authored four books: No Margin for Error (1980); Howard Baker’s Washington (1982); Big South Fork Country (1993) and Scott’s Gulf (2000).