Baker, Sir Benjamin, 1840-1907, English civil engineer. He helped build London's underground railway, Tower Bridge, and the Blackwall Tunnel, and with Sir John Fowler he designed and built the bridge over the Firth of Forth in Scotland. In Egypt he assisted with the first Aswan dam. Baker also designed the cylindrical ship used to carry the obelisk Cleopatra's Needle from Egypt to London.
Baker, George Fisher, 1840-1931, American financier and philanthropist, b. Troy, N.Y. Baker was one of the founders of the First National Bank of New York in 1863 and became (1877) its president and then (1909) chairman of its board of directors. Largely through his efforts this bank became one of the strongest financial institutions in the United States. Baker was closely associated with the interests of the house of Morgan; he helped finance James J. Hill in building his railroad empire and backed him in the fight to control the Northern Pacific RR. Baker himself became a leading figure in the world of railroad organization and finance and gained a commanding influence in insurance, utilities, and the steel and rubber industries. His philanthropic bequests were many. The most notable were $6 million to found and support the Harvard graduate school of business administration; $2 million to Cornell; $1 million to build the main library at Dartmouth; and money for the athletic field at Columbia.
Baker, George Pierce, 1866-1935, American educator, b. Providence, R.I., grad. Harvard, 1887. He taught (1888-1924) in the English department at Harvard and there conceived and instituted (1906) the 47 Workshop, a class on playwriting techniques and a laboratory of experimental productions. The first of its kind, the workshop was an inspiration to many young dramatists and gave impetus to the movement toward campus theater. In 1925 he went to Yale, where as professor of the history and technique of drama and director of the university theater he continued his work. Baker wrote The Development of Shakespeare as a Dramatist (1907, repr. 1965) and Dramatic Technique (1919) and edited the works of his students.

See memorial by J. M. Brown et al. (1939); W. P. Kinne, George Pierce Baker and the American Theatre (1954, repr. 1968).

Baker, Howard Henry, Jr., 1925-, U.S. politician and public official, b. Huntsville, Tenn. As a moderate Republican senator (1966-87) from Tennessee, he gained (1973) national attention as a member of the Senate committee investigating the Watergate affair. He became (1977) Senate minority leader and served (1981-85) as Senate majority leader after the Republican victory in the 1980 elections. He also was White House chief of staff (1987-88) under President Ronald Reagan. In 1996 he married Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum (see Kassebaum-Baker, Nancy Landon). Baker served as U.S. ambassador to Japan from 2001 to 2005.
Baker, James Addison, 3d, 1930-, U.S. political leader, b. Houston, Tex. After graduating from Princeton, he served in the U.S. Marines and earned a law degree from the Univ. of Texas. A successful corporate lawyer, he switched from the Democratic to the Republican party in 1970 and served (1975-76) as undersecretary of commerce during Gerald Ford's administration. Baker was campaign manager for Ford in his unsuccessful bid for a second term in 1976 and for George H. W. Bush in his unsuccessful bid for the Republican presidential nomination in 1980. Under President Ronald Reagan, Baker served as chief of staff (1981-85) and as secretary of the treasury (1985-88). He helped secure passage of the Kemp-Roth tax cut. In 1988 he managed G. H. W. Bush's successful presidential campaign. As secretary of state (1989-92) in Bush's administration, Baker negotiated arms reduction treaties with the Soviet Union, lent U.S. support to Germany's reunification, marshaled international opposition to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait (1990; see Persian Gulf Wars), and convened (1991) a Middle East peace conference that involved Israel, several Arab countries, and the Palestinians. In 1992, he resigned to become White House chief of staff again, with responsibility for domestic policy and for overseeing the unsuccessful Bush reelection campaign.

Baker later returned to law practice, and served (1997-2004) as UN envoy to the parties in the Western Sahara conflict. He also directed George W. Bush's legal efforts with respect to the contested 2000 presidential vote in Florida, and was appointed President G. W. Bush's personal envoy, charged with restructuring Iraq's national debt, in late 2003. In 2006 he co-chaired the Iraq Study Group, a bipartisan panel established by Congress to review and make recommendations on U.S. policy concerning Iraq. Baker has written The Politics of Diplomacy (1995, with T. M. DeFrank) and "Work Hard, Study … and Keep Out of Politics" (2006, with S. Fiffer), a memoir.

Baker, Dame Janet, 1933-, English mezzo-soprano. She made her singing debut in 1956 with the Glyndebourne Chorus. In 1966 she made her American debut at Town Hall in New York City, winning critical acclaim for the sensitivity, style, and intelligence of her singing. Baker was for many years regarded as primarily an oratorio and lieder singer. However, in 1962 she took the lead role in Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and then began a long association with the operas of Benjamin Britten. In 1969 she made a triumphal appearance as Dido in the Scottish Opera's production of Berlioz's The Trojans, repeating her performance at Covent Garden in London. Later she took leading roles in operas by Monteverdi and Cavalli. She retired in 1982. In 1991 she became chancellor of the Univ. of York, England.
Baker, Josephine, 1906-75, African-American dancer and singer, b. St. Louis, Mo., as Freda Josephine McDonald. In 1923 and 1924 she appeared in Broadway chorus lines. She became a sensation in Paris in La Revue Nègre (1925), renowned for her jazz singing, dancing, and exotically skimpy costumes. By 1927 she was one of Europe's most famous and highly paid entertainers. Naturalized as a French citizen in 1937, she worked for the Resistance in World War II and was awarded (1961) the Legion of Honor. She died in Paris after 14 triumphant performances of Josephine, celebrating her 50 years as a performer in Paris.

See P. Rose, Jazz Cleopatra (1989); J.-C. Baker and C. Chase, Josephine (1994); B. Jules-Rosette, Josephine Baker in Art and Life (2007).

Baker, Newton Diehl, 1871-1937, U.S. Secretary of War (1916-21), b. Martinsburg, W.Va. He practiced law and politics in Cleveland as a protégé of Tom L. Johnson. As city solicitor (1902-12) he opposed the powerful public utilities; as mayor (1912-16) he instituted notable tax reforms. Woodrow Wilson appointed him Secretary of War in Mar., 1916. An avowed pacifist, Baker suffered merciless criticism of his conduct of the War Dept. during the early months of World War I and was subjected to a congressional investigation in late 1917. His devotion to his task and the achievements of his department were later praised by all. He retired (1921) to private law practice in Cleveland but remained a public figure. An ardent advocate of peace, he urged U.S. entry into the League of Nations as late as 1924; in 1928, Coolidge appointed him to the Permanent Court of Arbitration (Hague Tribunal).

See biographies by F. Palmer (1931, repr. 1969) and C. H. Cramer (1961); study by D. R. Beaver (1966).

Baker, Oliver Edwin, 1883-1949, American economic geographer, grad. Heidelberg College, Tiffin, Ohio. He studied forestry at Yale and agriculture and economics at the Univ. of Wisconsin (Ph.D., 1921). He served (1912-42) with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, largely in research on land utilization. Besides many articles and reports, he wrote with V. C. Finch Geography of the World's Agriculture (1917), and he edited the Atlas of American Agriculture.
Baker, Ray Stannard, pseud. David Grayson, 1870-1946, American author, b. Lansing, Mich., grad. Michigan State College (now Michigan State Univ.), 1889. At first a Chicago newspaper reporter, he joined the staff of McClure's Magazine in 1897, for which he wrote some famous muckraking articles. With other McClure's contributors he purchased the American Magazine in 1906 and helped edit it. The first book of quiet country sketches by "David Grayson," Adventures in Contentment, appeared in 1907; the series continued with Great Possessions (1917), The Countryman's Year (1936), and others. An intimate of Woodrow Wilson, Baker was sent to Europe in 1918 as one of the president's special agents to study the war situation. At the peace conference at Versailles, Baker was director of the press bureau of the American peace commission. Afterward he wrote Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement (3 vol., 1922), a history of the peace conference based largely on the Wilson papers. With W. E. Dodd he edited Wilson's Public Papers (6 vol., 1925-26). His authoritative biography of Wilson (8 vol., 1927-39), for which he used the president's personal papers, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1940 for the last two volumes.

See his autobiographical works, Native American: The Book of My Youth (1941) and American Chronicle (1945).

Baker, Sir Samuel White, 1821-93, English explorer in Africa. He explored the Nile tributaries in Ethiopia in 1861-62. Going up the Nile from Cairo, he reached Gondokoro in 1863. He continued his journey southward in spite of the opposition of Arab slave traders and visited Lake Albert (Albert Nyanza) on Mar. 14, 1864. In 1869, with the authority of the khedive of Egypt, he returned to the region and, creating an administration in the Lado Enclave, he suppressed the slave trade and opened up the lake areas to commerce.

Baker is a city in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, United States, and a part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 13,793 at the 2000 census.

Ossie Brown, who served as East Baton Rouge Parish district attorney from 19721984, grew up in Baker and graduated from Baker High School. While a student there, he composed the Baker High alma mater


Baker is located at (30.585637, -91.157096).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.4 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 13,793 people, 4,971 households, and 3,782 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,747.3 people per square mile (675.0/km²). There were 5,389 housing units at an average density of 682.7/sq mi (263.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.97% White, 52.36% African American, 0.28% Native American, 0.22% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.17% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.86% of the population.

There were 4,971 households out of which 39.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.6% were married couples living together, 21.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.9% were non-families. 20.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.75 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the city the population was spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 21.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 84.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $35,151, and the median income for a family was $38,621. Males had a median income of $31,791 versus $22,177 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,920. About 13.4% of families and 15.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 23.5% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over.

Baker did see an influx of New Orleans residents during the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina but as of January 2007 only about 1,000 to 2,000 displaced families remain in Baker and most reside in temporary housing in the form of Federal Emergency Management Agency provided trailers, as stated above most displaced residents plan on returning to New Orleans or at least leaving Baton Rouge so the long term impact of Hurricane Katrina on Baton Rouge and surrounding areas is expected to be minimal.

Sister cities

Baker has one sister city:


Residents of the City of Baker are zoned to the City of Baker School System.

Unincorporated areas with Baker addresses are within the East Baton Rouge Parish Public Schools.

National Guard

Baker is home to the 926th MAC (mobility augmentation company) which is part of the 769th Engineer Battalion (combat) headquartered in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. These units belong to the 225th Engineer Brigade which is headquartered at Pineville, Louisiana on Camp Beauregard.


External links

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