Baker, William O. (William Oliver), 1915-2005

Alternative names
Birth 1915-07-15
Death 2005-10-31

Biographical notes:

William O. Baker was born in Brooklyn, New York on July 15, 1915. He attended Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland and Princeton University. Upon receiving his doctoral degree from Princeton, he joined Bell Labs in May 1939. Dr. Baker remained at Bell Labs for the remainder of his career, rising to vice president of the research division (in 1955) and ultimately became head of the labs from 1973 to 1979. Dr. Baker retired from Bell Laboratories in 1980. He died in Chatham, New Jersey on October 31, 2005. William O. Baker was a recognized authority on the production of synthetic rubber, solid state physics and satellite reconnaissance. Baker served as a science advisor to every American president from Eisenhower through to Nixon. He had eleven patents issued to him and was the recipient of numerous awards, among them being Perkin Medal (1963), the Gibbs Medal (1978), the Vannevar Bush Award (1981) and the National Medal of Science (1988).

From the description of William O Baker Bell Laboratory collection, 1940-1976. (Chemical Heritage Foundation). WorldCat record id: 703222452

Chemist (physical chemistry, polymer science). Associated with Bell Laboratories from 1939. He became president of Bell Labs in 1973 and chairman of the board from 1979-1980.

From the description of Oral history interview with William O. Baker, 1985. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80362496

From the description of Oral history interview with William O. Baker, 1996. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 80256636


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Ark ID:


  • Chemistry, Physical and theoretical
  • Science and state--20th century
  • Archival materials
  • Polymers
  • Rubber, Artificial
  • Cold War--Reconaissance operations
  • Cold War--Technology
  • Science and industry
  • Polyamides
  • Aerial reconnaissance
  • Polyesters
  • Esters
  • Solid state physics


  • Chemists


  • United States (as recorded)