In Memoriam: George F. Baker III


The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with great sorrow the presumed death of Member of the Corporation George F. Baker III of Houston, TX and Nantucket when his plane disappeared off Nantucket December 1, 2005.  He was 66.

George Baker had a long association with the Institution. He was made a Guest Associate in 1982 and elected a Member of the Corporation in 1997.  He was re-elected to a six-year term as a Member of the Corporation in May 2000.  A strong supporter of the Institution, he attended a number of events, including the visit of the new research vessel Atlantis to New York City in 1997, and helped fund the coastal vessel Tioga, which joined the Institution fleet in 2004.

George Fisher Baker III was born in Manhattan and was a graduate of St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire.  He attended Harvard College, receiving a B.A. degree in 1961, and worked at First National City Bank, now Citibank, in 1963.  He returned to Harvard and received an M.B.A. degree from Harvard Business School in 1964.  He went to work for Lehman Brothers, and in 1967 founded with Richard Nye the investment firm of Baker Nye L.P. in Manhattan, now Baker,  Nye, Greenblatt.  He retired as a general partner in 1999.  He also served as president of Cambridge Capital Holdings and as chairman and CEO of Whitehall Corporation.

In recent years he served as a senior trustee of the George F.  Baker Trust, a family philanthropy created in 1937. The foundation supports education, medicine, social services and civic organizations.  His great-grandfather, George Fisher Baker, was an industrialist, philanthropist, and former chairman of the First National Bank of New York, a forerunner of Citibank.  George Fisher Baker made a donation in 1924 to Harvard that made possible the construction of the Harvard Business School campus and the Baker Library, and in 1926 a gift to Dartmouth College endowed the Baker Library there. George F. Baker III served on the Harvard Business School Board of Dean’s Advisors from 1980 to 1993 and was a generous supporter of the renovation and reconstruction of Baker Library.

He supported a number of organizations and served on numerous boards, including as a governor of New York-Presbyterian Hospital, and as a trustee of St. Paul’s School and the Quebec-Labrador Foundation. He was a member of the Sea Education Association Corporation, New York Yacht Club, Committee on University Resources of Harvard University, the Visiting Committee of the John F. Kennedy School of Government of Harvard University, the Davis Center for Russian Studies at Harvard College, and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Survivors include his wife, Sarah Jones Baker; a son, George F. Baker IV of New York City; a daughter, Joanna Johnson Baker, also of New York City; two stepsons, John Roady and David Roady; a brother, Anthony K. Baker, and a sister, Pauline Baker Pitt, both of Palm Beach, FL; and a half-brother, Kane K. Baker, and half-sister, Lavinia Baker, both of Palm Beach, FL.

A memorial service was held December 13, 2005 at St. Bartholomew Church in New York City.


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