Former senator and justice Walter Baker dies at 73

05/24/2010 09:29 PM

Retired state senator and Supreme Court justice Walter Baker of Glasgow died Monday at age 73.

As Ronnie Ellis, of CNHI, wrote: Baker was “admired widely by members of both parties” as a statesman and as a thoughtful, kind and generous Kentuckian. Read Ellis’ article about Baker here. Among the landmark pieces of legislation he supported during his career was the two-cent increase in the sales tax pushed by fellow Barren County native, Gov. Louie B. Nunn while Baker served in the state House and the 1990 Kentucky Education Reform Act while Baker was a senator.

Baker had battled cancer for the last year. In February, the legislature honored him with a resolution for his more than 40 years of public service. The resolution was introduced by Sen. David Givens, R-Greensburg, who holds the seat in the Senate that Baker once held.

Baker made Kentucky his priority throughout his career. In addition to his years in the state legislature and on the bench, Baker had served on the Council on Postsecondary Education since 1997.

He and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy both graduated from Harvard Law School in 1961. Baker regularly caught up with Kennedy at their class reunions.

- Ryan Alessi


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