Below are the paid obit from the St. Augustine Record, which did not treat it as a news story; a shallow news obit from USA Today's DelMarVa McPaper; a Wikipedia entry; and Todd Purdum's 2013 article from Politico, with a link to Bobby Baker's oral history interview. UPDATE: Further below are the obituaries from The New York Times and The Washington Post.
Paid obituary from St. Augustine Record, which ran no news obituary:
Robert G. "Bobby" Baker
Robert (Bobby) G. Baker, beloved husband of Dorothy Comstock Baker (deceased) was chosen by God to come home on his 89th birthday, Nov. 12, 2017, at around noon. He was a loving dad to his five children and their families:
Robert G. and Norma Barnes Baker, James and Elizabeth Robertson Baker, Dan and Cissy Baker Allison, Lynda Baker, and Lyndon J. Baker (deceased); loved deeply by his seven younger siblings and their families, Betty Claire Chapman and Clyde Chapman (deceased), Mildred (Mimi) Jenkins and Loring (Lefty) Jenkins (deceased), Mary Frances Nealy (deceased), Ernest Russell and Linda Baker, Charles Norman Baker and Darrell, Joan Marie Hendricks (deceased), and Jack and Faye Baker. He was the doting grandpa (the great Gup) to 14 and their families, Robert and Renee Baker III, Timothy Baker and Dana Evans, Jason and Rya Baker, Christopher and Jennelle Baker, Cameron Baker, Spencer Baker (deceased), Angelica and Jeremy Goldman, Daniel and Elise Allison, Alexandra Allison and Kiel Reid, Patrick and Diana Allison, Kathryn And Shane McAnespie, Jonathan Allison, Megan Allison, and Brian and Mariah Baker; and the awesomest great-grandpa to 14, Robert Baker IV, Kevin Baker, Lillian Baker, Bridgette Baker, Leah Baker, Alexander Baker, Randall Carver II, Isabella Marie Novak, Genevieve Mae Goldman, Horatio Gene Goldman, Kylie Allison Reid, Kaiden Alexander Reid, Killian Archer Allison and Khloe Carmichael.
Born Nov. 12, 1928, in Easley, South Carolina, to Ernest Russell Baker and Mary Elizabeth Norman, he was the eldest of eight children. As a ninth grade student at Pickens High School, he received an appointment to the U.S. Senate Page School and arrived in Washington D.C., in January 1942. He was head page by 1945, assistant secretary to the minority by January 1954 and elected by acclamation to secretary to the majority in the senate by January 1955. Meanwhile he graduated The Page High School went on to college and received his law degree from American University. He knew so many different presidents beginning with FDR but was closest to LBJ.
After leaving the government he went into real estate and motel businesses. He was a true force of nature, a fabulous raconteur, and simply loved meeting and greeting everyone. Most of all, he enjoyed all the generations of children in his life.
He will be best remembered as a loving, kind, and generous son, brother, husband, dad, grandpa, great-grandpa, uncle, and friend.
Services will take place at St. Anastasia Catholic Church on Dec. 1, at the 9 a.m. service. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the charity of your choice.
Craig Funeral Home Crematory Memorial Park (www.craigfuneralhome.com) is assisting the family.
Craig Funeral Home Memorial Park
1475 Old Dixie Highway
St. Augustine, FL 32086
Published in St. Augustine Record on Nov. 15, 2017
News obituary from USA Today network and local DelMarVa affiliate:
Robert Gene “Bobby” Baker, Washington, D.C., politician and Ocean City hotel founder, died Sunday on his 89th birthday.
|Born||November 12, 1928|
Pickens, South Carolina, U.S.
|Died||November 12, 2017 (aged 89)|
Notes and references
- Caro, Robert A. (2003). The Years of Lyndon Johnson: Master of the Senate, Vintage Books, p. 390.
- Caro (2003). p. 393.
- "MOB STORY: The Vice President". americanmafia.com. Retrieved November 8,2014.
- "Investigations: Bobby's High Life". Time Magazine. Vol. 82 no. 19. Time Inc. November 8, 1963.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York: Simon and Schuster. p. 255. Retrieved 27 Mar 2010.
- Dallek, Robert (1999). Flawed Giant, Lyndon Johnson and His Times, 1961-1973, Oxford University Press, pp. 40-41.
- "FBI Claims Baker Inquiry Started Before '63 Furor", Avalanche Journal: 127, November 17, 1966, retrieved 2015-12-23
- Zirbel, Craig I (2010), JFK: The Final Chapter on the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, ISBN 0-9828920-1-2, retrieved 2015-12-20
- "LBJ and the Bobby Baker Scandal". Retrieved November 8, 2014.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. p. 263. Retrieved 27 Mar 2010.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. pp. 262, 268.
- Herst, Burton (2007). Bobby and J. Edger, Carroll & Graf: New York, pp. 372–374.
- Dallek (1999). pp. 40-41.
- Caro, Robert A. (2012), Lyndon Johnson: Passage of Power, Random House, pp. 318, 604.
- Todd Purdum (November 19, 2013). "Sex in the Senate". Politico. RetrievedJanuary 8, 2017.
- "Goldwater Criticizes Johnson on Bobby Baker Scandal". NBC. March 25, 1964.
- "Choice" [1964 Barry Goldwater Campaign Film].
Sex in the Senate
Bobby Baker's salacious secret history of Capitol Hill.
By TODD S. PURDUM
November 19, 2013
On Jan. 1, 1943, Robert Gene Baker arrived in Washington at the height of World War II to become a Senate page. Two decades later, this son of a mailman from Pickens, S.C., had become the reigning Washington wheeler-dealer and fixer of his day as secretary to the Senate’s Democratic majority. In the era of President John F. Kennedy’s New Frontier, Baker was indispensable on Capitol Hill: The Man Who Knew Too Much.
Exactly 50 years ago this fall, in the face of a widening official investigation into his private business dealings and vivid social life—an inquiry that threatened to engulf the Kennedy White House in a sex scandal and destroy Baker’s political patron, Vice President Lyndon Johnson—Baker drank four martinis at lunch and impulsively resigned his post. He had been as close as a son to Johnson, privy to the vice president’s deepest secrets. On Friday, Nov. 22, 1963, the tragedy of Kennedy’s assassination short-circuited the Baker investigation, and spared Johnson career-ending ignominy.
Still, prosecutors eventually caught up with Baker, if not his patron, and he ended up serving 18 months in prison on federal tax evasion charges. In 1978, he co-wrote Wheeling and Dealing, a rollicking memoir with Larry L. King, best known as the author of the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
But Baker in recent years quietly recorded an even more unvarnished account of his anything-goes-era in Washington, which Politico Magazine now publishes for the first time. His recollections—of an age when senators drank all day, indulged in sexual dalliances with secretaries and constituents, accepted thousands of dollars in bribes and still managed to pass the most important legislation of the 20th century—were collected by Donald Ritchie of the Senate Historical Office in interviews with Baker in 2009 and 2010. The resulting 230-page manuscript was so ribald and riveting, so salacious and sensational, that the Historical Office refrained from its usual practice of posting such interviews online.
Today, Baker is alive and well and living in Florida, managing the successful real estate investments that he somehow retained through his darkest days. Earlier this month, he turned 85. In the reminiscences that follow, he offers indelible proof that the good old days were not always good: One senator died with $2 million in unexplained cash; another took a $200,000 payment to switch his vote; some showed up for work drunk. But he also explains the ways in which the old days might well have offered a better model than the present for how to do business on Capitol Hill: his was really a time when senators knew and respected each other, and bipartisan cooperation was the norm. It’s a close question whether the sanctioned immorality of 50 years ago was worse for the legislative process than the codified corruption of today. Readers, be the judge. But harken, meantime, to the words of perhaps the last living man who saw it all.
What follows, in quotes, are Baker’s recollections; the author’s notes are in italics.