William Oliver Baker
Award Name : National Medal of Science
Year of Award : 1988
Award for : Chemistry
Location : Chestertown, Maryland, United States
William Oliver Baker 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. He received 11 patents for his own research, which focused on the crystalline molecular structure of various materials, including plastics and natural rubber. He also received the National Medal of Science in 1988. He died on October 31, 2005 in Chatham, New Jersey.