Howard Baker Sr. Howard Henry Baker Sr., born January 12, 1902 was a United States Representative from Tennessee from 1951 until his death on January 7, 1964. He was a member of the Republican Party.
Baker was born in Somerset, Kentucky but largely grew up in Scott and Knox Counties, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of Tennessee in 1922 and its law school in 1924, having been admitted to the Tennessee bar in 1923. For a period he served as publisher of a weekly newspaper in Huntsville, Tennessee, the county seat of Scott County. In 1928 he was elected to a term in the Tennessee House of Representatives, and served on the Scott County Board of Education from 1931 to 1932. In 1934 he became district attorney general of the former 19th Judicial Circuit, serving until 1938 in that capacity.
In 1938 Baker made an unsuccessful bid for governor of Tennessee, and in 1940 ran unsuccessfully for the United States Senate. He was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1940, 1948, 1952, and 1956. He was vice president and general counsel to the former Oneida and Western Railroad in 1945, and was also on the board of directors of the First National Bank of Oneida. In 1950 he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and served in that body until his death, having been reelected six times. Baker died in Knoxville, Tennessee. Today he is probably best remembered as the father of Howard H. Baker Jr., a three-term U.S. senator from Tennessee and United States Senate Majority Leader who later served as White House Chief of Staff under Ronald Reagan and is currently the United States Ambassador to Japan. Baker was succeeded in office by his widow Irene, who completed his final term as a caretaker and sought no further election.