Nancy Kassebaum Baker (born July 29, 1932) represented the state of Kansas in the United States Senate from 1978 to 1997. She is the daughter of Alfred M. Landon who was the Governor of Kansas from 1933 to 1937 and the 1936 Republican candidate for president. She graduated from the University of Kansas in 1954 and received her graduate degree from the University of Michigan in 1956.
Baker, who went by Nancy Landon Kassebaum while serving in the Senate, was the first woman to serve in the Senate having neither been elected to serve first in the House of Representatives nor having been appointed to fill out the remainder of a term from a husband after his death while in office. She defeated eight other Republicans in the 1978 primary elections and then defeated Democratic Congressman Dr. Bill Roy in the general election. She was re-elected to her Senate seat in 1984 and 1990, but did not seek re-election in 1996.
Kassebaum, a moderate Republican, has often been noted for her health care legislation co-sponsored by Massachusetts Sen. Edward Kennedy, a Democrat.
Since 1996 she has been married to former U.S. Senator Howard Baker Jr.
Kassebaum's son Bill Kassebaum was a member of the Kansas legislature.