LICR Mourns R. Palmer Baker Jr.
R. Palmer Baker, Jr.
It is with deep regret and sorrow that we report the passing of R. Palmer Baker, Jr., former Chairman of the LICR Board of Directors, who died on March 3. A gracious, generous and gentle man, he was a friend, a colleague and a mentor.
Mr. Baker was a major force in the creation of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in 1971 and his interest in and commitment to its mission and success never waned. He was a vital and long-standing member of the Institute’s Board of Directors and served as Chairman of the Board from 1995 until 2005, guiding the Institute as it continued to emerge into the world’s largest international, not-for-profit cancer research enterprise. At the time of his death, his efforts were still devoted to LICR. Mr. Baker was completing the final chapters of a history of the Institute, a project on which he had been diligently working for some two years.
Mr. Baker was also a Trustee of the Virginia and D.K. Ludwig Fund for Cancer Research which, in 2006, made the largest single donation by a foundation to cancer research in the United States, establishing research centers at Harvard, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, the University of Chicago and Stanford University.
A graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Law School, Mr. Baker served to the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy in World War II and spent most of his professional life as a lawyer in the New York firm of Lord, Day & Lord.
Mr. Baker was actively involved in a variety of charities related to the arts, the legal system and community service. He was a Life Trustee of the New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Honorary Trustee and Vice Chair of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, past President of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, a Board member of the Vera Institute for Justice, the Argus Community and the Ice Theatre of New York, and he had just stepped down as Treasurer of The American Friends of the National Gallery, London. A passionate fisherman, Mr. Baker also wrote the book, “The Sweet of the Year: One Man’s Enjoyment in Fly-Fishing,” now a collector’s item, on his trout-fishing experiences in north-eastern USA, and Canada.
Mr. Baker was deeply admired by the entire Ludwig community for his contributions to the world of cancer research. We shall sorely miss his charming company, wise counsel and thoughtful leadership.
Our sincere condolences are extended to his beloved daughter, Mary Baker Eaton, and his grandson, Harold L. Fickett, IV in whom he took great pride.