Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Newton Diehl Baker, Jr. (December 3, 1871 – December 25, 1937) was an American politician of the Democratic Party, and a notable figure in the Progressive movement. He served as the 37th mayor of Cleveland, Ohio from 1912 to 1915 and as Secretary of War from 1916 to 1921.
Baker was a native of Martinsburg, West Virginia, and an 1892 graduate of Johns Hopkins University. After receiving his law degree from Washington and Lee University in 1894, Baker became the secretary to the Postmaster General, William L. Wilson.
After leaving Washington, D.C., Baker moved to Cleveland, where he became active in local politics. He married Elizabeth Leopold on July 5, 1902. After serving as city solicitor from 1901 to 1909, he became mayor of the city in 1911. As a city official, Baker's main interests were public power, transit reform, and city beautification. He was a strong backer of Cleveland College (now a part of Case Western Reserve University).
Following his tenure as mayor of Cleveland, in 1916, Baker, along with two other partners, founded the law firm of Baker & Hostetler. As the United States considered whether to enter World War I, President Woodrow Wilson named Baker Secretary of War, because Baker was an acceptable candidate for politicians on both sides of the question. As Secretary of War, Baker presided over the American military involvement in the war (1917-18), including the unprecedented creation of a nationwide military draft.
After stepping down as Secretary of War in 1921, Baker returned to practicing law at Baker & Hostetler, and never again served in a public office (although he was considered as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President in 1924, 1928, and 1932). He died Christmas Day in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, and was interred in Lake View Cemetery.
In 1957 Western Reserve University (now Case Western Reserve) erected the Newton D. Baker Building in his honor; it served as a large unit of general purpose classrooms and administrative offices. It was located on the corner of Adelbert and Euclid, across from Severance Hall. The building was torn down in November 2004.
Today, the law firm founded by Baker, Baker & Hostetler, is one of the nation's top 100 law firms with more than 600 attorneys serving clients around the country and throughout the world. The firm currently has offices in ten U.S. cities across four time zones, and represents several leading corporations, including ABC, Inc., Bayer Corporation, Boeing, Cardinal Health, Inc., CNL, EDS, ExxonMobil, Fisher Scientific, Ford, HCA, Hyatt Hotels, IBM, Morgan Stanley, New York Times, Co., Northwest Airlines, Ocean Spray, Orvis, Ritz Carlton Club, Schlumberger, Sprint Nextel, The E.W. Scripps Company, The Progressive Corporation, Verizon, and Wachovia.
Posted by juicy juicy at 11:04 AM