William O. Baker

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William Oliver Baker (July 15, 1915 – October 31, 2005) was a former president of Bell Labs who advised five presidents on scientific matters.


He was born on July 15, 1915 in Chestertown, Maryland.

He received his degree from Washington College and went on to get a doctorate from Princeton University, studying under Charles Phelps Smyth. He later did research for Bell Labs that helped lead to synthetic rubber. He held 11 patents in all. He headed Bell Labs from 1973 to 1979. Prior to being named president, he had served as Bell Labs Vice President for Research since 1955. Baker was a longtime resident of Morristown, New Jersey.[1]

He died on October 31, 2005 in Chatham, New Jersey.



  1. New York Times obituary
  2. "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 9 May 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Benjamin Franklin Medal for Distinguished Achievement in the Sciences Recipients". American Philosophical Society. Retrieved November 27, 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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