Marcus Baker

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Studio portrait of Marcus Baker
Photograph of Marcus Baker as a young man in wire-rim glasses with a dark beard. Probably from the early 1880s when Baker worked in Los Angeles.
Marcus Baker's portrait
Mount Marcus Baker, Alaska, United States

Marcus Baker (23 September 1849 – 12 December 1903) was an American naturalist, explorer of Alaska, journalist, and newspaper editor.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Baker was born 23 Sept 1849 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and graduated from the University of Michigan. After graduating, he worked as an instructor of mathematics at the University of Michigan from 1871 to 1873.[2] On 25 May 1899 he married Marian Una Strong in Kalamazoo, Michigan.


In 1872, he was hired by William Healey Dall to be a naturalist on an expedition to Alaska, where he collected topographic and hydrographical data. He would continue to go with Dall to Alaska every year until 1888, when he co-founded the National Geographic Society and one of the first editors of the National Geographic Magazine. He was one of the 15 original signers of the articles of incorporation for the National Geographic Society in 1888. Baker was well known for his work in geology and cartography.

Baker's home[edit]

Baker's home in DC was built in 1889 at 1905 16th Street NW. It is a 4,000 square foot five-bedroom townhouse with a two-bedroom, lower-level apartment. The house's molding and woodwork has been restored to preserve the house however, a media room with surround sound and a home theater, a garage, and outdoor decks were added.[3]


He was also on the board of the US Board of Geographic Names during the 1890s.[3]


On 12 Dec 1903, he suffered a heart attack and died in Washington DC. Mount Marcus Baker in the Chugach Range of southern Alaska is named after him.


  1. ^ Hunter, Cathy. "Marcus Baker: National Geographic Founder and Editor". National Geographic. Retrieved 22 June 2013.
  2. ^ Michigan, University of (1902). General Catalogue of Officers and Students, 1837-1901. The University. p. 23.
  3. ^ a b Wellborn, Mark. "National Geographic Founder's DC Home Hits The Market". Urban Turf. Retrieved 22 June 2013.

External links[edit]