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James Baker
16th White House Chief of Staff
In office
August, 1992 – January 20, 1993
President George H.W. Bush
Preceded by Samuel Skinner
Succeeded by Thomas F. "Mack" McLarty
61st United States Secretary of State
In office
January 20, 1989 – August 23, 1992
President George H.W. Bush
Preceded by George P. Shultz
Succeeded by Lawrence Eagleburger
67th United States Secretary of the Treasury
In office
February 4, 1985 – August 17, 1988
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Donald Regan
Succeeded by Nicholas F. Brady
10th White House Chief of Staff
In office
January 20, 1981 – February 3, 1985
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Jack Watson
Succeeded by Donald T. Regan
Personal details
Born (1930-04-28) April 28, 1930 (age 91)
Houston, Texas
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Mary Stuart McHenry
(1953-1970; her death)
Susan Garrett Baker
Alma mater Princeton University
University of Texas-Austin
Profession Lawyer/Politician
Signature James A Baker III sig.jpg
Military service
Branch/service United States Marine Corps
Rank Captain

James Addison Baker III (born April 28, 1930) is an American attorney and political figure. He served as White House Chief of Staff and United States Secretary of the Treasury under President Ronald Reagan, and as U.S. Secretary of State and White House Chief of Staff under President George H. W. Bush.

James Baker Monument
James Baker Monument

Born in Houston, Baker attended The Hill School and Princeton University before serving in the United States Marine Corps. After graduating from the University of Texas School of Law, he pursued a legal career. He became a close friend of George H. W. Bush and worked for Bush's unsuccessful 1970 campaign for the United States Senate. After the campaign, he served in various positions for President Richard Nixon. In 1975, he was appointed Undersecretary of Commerce for Gerald Ford. He served until May 1976 and ran Ford's 1976 presidential campaign.

The Troika 1981
left Chief of Staff James Baker, Counselor to the President at the White House, December 2, 1981

Baker ran Bush's unsuccessful campaign for the 1980 Republican presidential nomination, but made a favorable impression on the Republican nominee, Ronald Reagan. Reagan appointed Baker as his White House Chief of Staff, and Baker remained in that position until 1985, when he became the Secretary of the Treasury. He resigned as Treasury Secretary to manage Bush's successful 1988 campaign for president.

After the election, Bush appointed Baker to the position of Secretary of State. As Secretary of State, he helped oversee U.S. foreign policy during the end of the Cold War and dissolution of the Soviet Union, as well as during the Gulf War. After the Gulf War, Baker served another stint as White House Chief of Staff from 1992 to 1993. Baker remained active in business and public affairs after Bush's defeat in the 1992 presidential election.

Baker is the namesake of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. In addition to the numerous recognition's received by Baker, he was presented with the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Award for public service on September 13, 2000 in Washington, D.C.

Other advisory positions

James Baker 1991 DA-ST-92-09582
Baker arriving in Kuwait, 1991

Baker serves on the Honorary Council of Advisers for the U.S.-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce.

James Baker serves as an Honorary Co-Chair for the World Justice Project. The World Justice Project works to lead a global, multidisciplinary effort to strengthen the Rule of Law for the development of communities of opportunity and equity.

Baker is a leader of the Climate Leadership Council. In 2017, Baker was a member of a small group of "Republican elder statesmen" proposing that conservatives embrace carbon taxes, as a policy to deal with global climate change.

Personal life

Baker met his first wife, the former Mary Stuart McHenry, of Dayton, Ohio while on spring break in Bermuda with the Princeton University rugby team. They married in 1953. Together they had four sons. Mary Stuart Baker (Mary Stuart was her full first name) died of breast cancer in February 1970. In 1973, Baker and Susan Garrett Winston, a widow and a close friend of Mary Stuart, were married. Winston had two sons and a daughter with her late husband.

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