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LaMar Baker (December 29, 1915 – June 20, 2003) was a Tennessee businessman and Republican political figure who served two terms in the United States House of Representatives from 1971 to 1975. Earlier, he had been a member of both houses of the Tennessee State Legislature.

LaMar Baker
LaMar Baker 93rd Congress 1973.jpg
U.S. Representative for Tennessee's 3rd congressional district
In office
January 3, 1971 – January 3, 1975
Preceded byBill Brock
Succeeded byMarilyn Lloyd
Tennessee State Senator from Chattanooga
In office
1969–1971
Tennessee State Representative from Chattanooga
In office
1967–1969
Personal details
Born(1915-12-29)December 29, 1915
Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA
DiedJune 20, 2003(2003-06-20) (aged 87)
Nashville, Tennessee
Resting placeWoodlawn Cemetery in Nashville, Tennessee
Political partyRepublican
Alma materLipscomb University
Harding University
OccupationBusinessman
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Army Air Corps
Battles/warsWorld War II

BiographyEdit

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Baker attended public schools there and then David Lipscomb College, now Lipscomb University, in Nashville from 1936 to 1938. In 1940, he received a Bachelor of Science degree from Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas. Both Lipscomb and Harding are Churches of Christ institutions. During World War II, he served from 1942 to 1946 in the United States Army Air Corps, now the United States Air Force.

Baker was a successful Chattanooga-area businessman prior to his election in 1966 to the Tennessee House of Representatives. In 1968, he was elected to the Tennessee State Senate. In 1970, he received the Republican nomination for the Chattanooga-based Congressional District to replace Bill Brock, who was elected to the United States Senate. He won a very close race in November, undoubtedly aided by coattails of Brock and the Republican gubernatorial victor, Winfield Dunn.

Baker served two terms in Congress. He was reelected in the Republican landslide year of 1972, in which President Richard M. Nixon won all but five of Tennessee's ninety-five counties. Baker was a delegate to the 1972 Republican National Convention. In 1974, however, he was defeated for reelection by Democrat Marilyn Lloyd.

Two factors were involved in this defeat. One was the general unpopularity of Republicans in the wake of the Watergate scandal and Nixon's resignation earlier that year, which was played out in many usually competitive and marginally Republican districts throughout the country. The other was the fact that Marilyn Lloyd was the widow of Mort Lloyd, an anchorman at CBS affiliate WDEF-TV, who had won the Democratic nomination to face Baker and who had then been killed in a light-airplane accident on his way to celebrate his primary victory; the Democratic Party then chose his wife to succeed him as the congressional nominee.

Baker lost badly in a rematch against Lloyd in 1976, when Jimmy Carter of Georgia won Tennessee's electoral votes. From 1981 to 1985, during the administration of U.S. President Ronald W. Reagan, Baker served as the regional representative to the United States Secretary of Transportation Drew Lewis. Baker lived his later years in Nashville and is interred in that city's Woodlawn Cemetery.

External linksEdit

  • United States Congress. "LaMar Baker (id: B000069)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Bill Brock
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd congressional district

1971-1975
Succeeded by
Marilyn Lloyd