Howard Baker, Brandeis Medal Recipient Dies at Age 88

The Brandeis School of Law notes with sadness the passing of Howard Baker, former United States Senator, White House Chief of Staff, and Ambassador to Japan.  In 2005, Senator Baker received the Brandeis Medal from the law school.  The Brandeis Medal was established to recognize individuals whose lives reflect Justice Brandeis’ commitment to the ideals of individual liberty, concern for the disadvantaged, and public service.  It was awarded for the first time in 1982. Previous recipients include Supreme Justices Sandra Day O’Connor, Harry Blackmun, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Steven Breyer and John Paul Stevens; Congressman John Lewis, and journalist Eugene Robinson.

Senator Howard H. Baker first received national recognition in 1973 as the Vice Chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee.  Although his most recent service in public life was as U.S. Ambassador to Japan (2001-2004), and he served as President Reagan’s Chief of Staff from February 1987 until July 1988, he is most known for his service in the United States Senate.  The first Republican ever popularly elected to the U.S. Senate from Tennessee, in 1966, he served until 1985, including two terms as Minority Leader (1977-1981) and two terms as Majority Leader (1981-1985).  Following undergraduate studies at the University of the South and Tulane University, he received his law degree from the University of Tennessee.