Frank Baker (physician)

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For others of the same name, see Frank Baker (disambiguation).
Frank Baker
Dr. Frank Baker
Born (1841-08-22)August 22, 1841
Pulaski, New York
Died October 30, 1918(1918-10-30) (aged 77)
Washington DC
Occupation Doctor, Professor, Director of the National Zoo
Employer Georgetown University, Smithsonian, United States Army
Title Doctor

Frank Baker (August 22, 1841 – September 30, 1918) was an American physician and superintendent of the National Zoo in Washington, DC.


He was born in Pulaski, New York, on August 22, 1841. In 1861 he enlisted into the Union Army, fighting in The Second Battle of Bull Run, Battle of Fredericksburg, Battle of Chancellorsville, and Battle of Seven Pines.[1] In 1863 he left the army and became a clerk in Washington DC. There he became friends with Walt Whitman and John Burroughs. After the war he got his undergraduate degree from George Washington University and his medical degree at Georgetown University. In 1881 he was involved with the treatment of President James Garfield after he had been shot, and there he met George Kennan and Alexander Graham Bell. In 1883 Baker became a professor of anatomy at Georgetown University, and in 1888 he co-founded the National Geographic Society. In 1889 he was made acting director of the National Zoo, and in 1893 was made official director of the zoo. He retired in 1916, and died on September 30, 1918.