Howard Henry Baker, Jr. (November 15, 1925 – June 26, 2014) was a Senate Majority Leader, Republican U.S. Senator from Tennessee, White House Chief of Staff, and a United States Ambassador to Japan. He worked as a lobbyist and adviser at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.
Known in Washington, D.C. as the "Great Conciliator", Baker was often regarded as one of the most successful senators in terms of brokering compromises, enacting legislation, and maintaining civility. A story is sometimes told of a reporter telling a senior Democratic senator that privately, a plurality of his Democratic colleagues would vote for Baker for President of the United States.
Baker was a moderate republican who took the lead in the 1973 Watergate hearings in asking what President Nixon knew about the scandals events. "I believed that it was a political ploy of the Democrats, that it would come to nothing," said Baker, who had seconded Richard Nixon's nomination at the 1968 Republican convention. "But a few weeks into that, it began to dawn on me that there was more to it than I thought, and more to it than I liked."
Baker died after suffering a strok on saturday. He was 88.