Charles D. Baker (businessman)

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Charles D. Baker
United States Under Secretary of Health and Human Services
In office
Preceded by John A. Svahn
Succeeded by Don M. Newman
Personal details
Born (1928-06-21) June 21, 1928 (age 88)
Newburyport, Massachusetts
Spouse(s) Alice Elizabeth "Betty" Ghormley
Children three, including Charlie Baker.
Residence Needham, Massachusetts
Alma mater Harvard College
Harvard Business School
Profession businessman

Charles Duane Baker III (born June 21, 1928) is an American businessman and former U.S. government official. He served in several departmental roles in the Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan administrations, including Under Secretary of Health and Human Services (1984–1985). He is a resident of Needham, Massachusetts, and is the father of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

Life and career[edit]

Baker was born in Newburyport, Massachusetts.[1] He was the son of Charles D. Baker, Jr. (?–1971), a prominent Republican politician from Newburyport, Massachusetts, and Eleanor (Little) Baker. His grandfather was also named Charles D. Baker (1846–1934), and was a United States Attorney and member of the New York State Assembly.[2][3] The young Baker had two sisters, Caroline R. Baker and Nancy B. Kobick.[4] He attended Baldwin High School in Baldwin, New York, and graduated in 1945. He went on to attend Harvard College, and graduated in 1951 with an A.B. He spent 1946 to 1948 in the United States Navy in aviation, and returned from 1951 to 1953. In the Navy he achieved the rank of lieutenant (junior grade). He then returned to Harvard, receiving an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1955.[1]

He married Alice Elizabeth "Betty" Ghormley of Rochester, Minnesota on June 4, 1955.[1][5] They moved to Elmira, New York, where he became a buyer for the Westinghouse Electric Corporation. They had three sons, Charles Duane IV, Jonathan, and Alex.[6] While at Westinghouse he moved to New Jersey in 1957. Baker moved back to Massachusetts to serve as vice president of United Research, an economic research firm, from 1961 to 1965.[1]

In 1965 Baker became vice president of Harbridge House, a management consulting firm, part of whose client base included the United States Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, and Department of Transportation.[1] He was United States Deputy Under Secretary of Transportation (1969), Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Policy and International Affairs (1970–1971), and Under Secretary of Health and Human Services (1984–1985).[7] In 1985 he became a professor at the Northeastern University College of Business Administration.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Nomination of Charles D. Baker: hearing before the Committee on Finance, United States Senate, Ninety-eighth Congress, second session, on nomination of Charles D. Baker to be Under Secretary of Health and Human Services, August 7, 1984." S. Hrg. 98-1109.
  2. ^ "Estates Appraised." October 31, 1934. The New York Times. p. 38.
  3. ^ Near, Irvin W. (1911). A History of Steuben County, New York, and Its People. pp. 578–580. The Lewis Publishing Company (Chicago).
  4. ^ "Charles B. Baker, Jr." October 9, 1971. The New York Times. p. 34 (Subscription required.)
  5. ^ Schuyler County Historical Society, ed. (2005). Schuyler County, New York: History & Families. Turner Publishing Company. ISBN 9781596520769. 
  6. ^ English, Bella (October 3, 2010). "Baker: Happy days, high expectations." The Boston Globe. Retrieved November 7, 2010.
  7. ^ "Ronald Reagan: Nomination of Charles D. Baker To Be Under Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services". The American Presidency Project. July 27, 1984. Retrieved November 6, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Charlie Baker". Faculty. Northeastern University College of Business Administration. Archived from the original on April 6, 2003. Retrieved November 6, 2010.