Respected Former Senator Howard Baker Dies At 88

Baker served in the Senate for 18 years, becoming famous for his bipartisan investigation of the Watergate scandal.

Respected Former Senator Howard Baker Dies At 88
Wikimedia Commons / U.S. Navy

Former Tennessee Senator Howard Baker has died at the age of 88 of complications from a stroke.

Baker, a Republican, served in the U.S. Senate for 18 years, spanning from the late '60s to the mid '80s. He was majority leader for four years and also served as Ronald Regan's chief of staff and George W. Bush's ambassador to Japan. (Via Wikimedia Commons / United States Congress, Herbert Abrams, U.S. Navy)

In a statement to USA Today, current Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander said, "Howard Baker was Tennessee's favorite son, one of America's finest leaders. ... He built our state's two-party political system and inspired three generations to try to build a better state and country."

But, what Baker is perhaps best known for is asking, "What did the president know, and when did he know it?" during the Watergate investigation. (Via YouTube / Bob Parker)

The Tennesseean says Bakers's leadership in the "bipartisan pursuit of truth" during Watergate is often credited with restoring the some of the public's confidence in the government.

Baker leaves behind a wife, former Senator Nancy Kassebaum, and two children. CNN reports his wife released a statement saying Baker's death is a "time of sorrow and also a time for the celebration of a remarkable life."

Thursday, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam ordered flags at all state buildings lowered to half staff to mark Baker's passing. (Via C-SPAN)

Funeral services are planned for Tuesday in Huntsville, Tennessee.