Biography

Howard H. Baker, Jr.
Photographer Statesman
(November 15, 1925 – June 26, 2014)

The breathtaking beauty of an eagle in flight ...

the bustle of traffic in a Himalayan market ...

an intimate glimpse of world leaders during a crisis ...

Most photographers struggle to gain access to their subjects, and are bound to focus on narrow areas of interest by the limitations of their circumstances. For Howard Baker, there were no limits. His amazing career as a politician and statesman, combined with his humble East Tennessee background and a profound love of people and the natural world around him, have created a body of photographic work that is and always will be unique and inspiring.

Howard Baker was first and foremost a photographer. His adventure with the camera began at age 12 and has lasted a lifetime. His subjects are as fascinating as they are diverse: fellow members of Congress and many Presidents; the heads of various foreign states; the pomp and circumstance of Washington, D.C.; the glorious, unspoiled natural vistas of his native state; and the exotic locales afforded by his travels around the world.

Baker’s carefully composed images — a bird or flower — a distant misty landscape — a candid glimpse of a world leader — underscore his mastery of the camera. Although he often worked in black and white, he is most widely recognized for his rich color images.

“Photographs that appeal to me are straightforward and simple and direct. Photography ... may be the only place where I can reasonably aspire to perfection.”

Baker’s photographs have been exhibited across the United States and in Japan, and have appeared in Life magazine, National Geographic, and the books No Margin for Error, Howard Baker's Washington, Scott’s Bluff and Big South Fork Country.

Howard H. Baker, Jr.
Statesman Photographer

Howard Baker’s lifelong career of public service began in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He served in the U.S. Senate (R-TN) from 1967-1985 and 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. While in the Senate, he served as Minority Leader (1977-1981) and Majority Leader (1981-1985). He served President Ronald Reagan as Chief of Staff (1987-1988), and President George W. Bush as US Ambassador to Japan (2001- 2005).

A delegate to the United Nations in 1976, Senator Baker had extensive foreign policy experience. 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 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 2008, Emperor Akihito awarded the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Paulownia Flowers — Japan’s highest honor for civilians — to Ambassador Baker for his service to Japan.

As a photographer, Senator 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 has received honorary degrees from institutions such as Yale University, Dartmouth College, Georgetown University, Bradley University, Pepperdine University and Centre College.

Professional Experience

U.S. Ambassador to Japan, 2001 to 2005

Chief of Staff, President Ronald Reagan, 1987 to 1988

U.S. Senate (R-TN), 1967 to 1985

U.S. Senate Majority Leader, 1981 to 1985

U.S. Senate Minority Leader, 1977 to 1981

U.S. Navy, 1943 to 1946

Professional Honors & Activities

Recipient - Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1984

Recipient - Jefferson Award for Greatest Public Service Performed by an Elected or Appointed Official, 1982

Delegate - United Nations, 1976

Member - President's Foreign Intelligence Board, 1985 to 1987, 1988 to 1990

Member - Council on Foreign Relations

Member - Washington Institute of Foreign Affairs

Board Member - Forum of International Policy

International Counselor - Center for Strategic and International Studies

Board Member - Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation

Board Member - Museum of Appalachia Foundation

Member - Citigroup International Advisory Board

Member - Photo Marketing Association Hall of Fame, 1994

Honorary Co-Chair - "Saving the Last Great Places of Tennessee" Conservation Campaign, Tennessee Chapter of The Nature Conservancy (2006)

Listed in The Best Lawyers in America ® in Government Relations Law

Education

University of Tennessee Law College

Tulane University

University of the South

 

 

Howard H Baker Jr.