Biography of Newton Diehl Baker


Baker, Newton Diehl. Appointed secretary of war by President Wilson, March 7, 1916. Was born at Martinsburg, WV, 1871. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University 1892, and from the law school of Washington and Lee University 1894. After practicing law in his native town, he was city solicitor of Cleveland, OH, 1902-12, and mayor of Cleveland, 1912-16. American participation in the world war placed great responsibilities upon the war department during Baker's secretary-ship. The strength of the army was increased from 190,000 when war was declared against Germany, April 6, 1917, to 3,664,000 at the time of signing the armistice, November 11, 1918. At the latter date, 2,045,000 men had been embarked overseas of whom 1,950,000 were in France. During the four months (ending with August, 1918) 1,121,000 men were transported abroad. In magnitude, variety, and difficulty of the tasks involved this organization and movement of armed forces far exceeds any similar achievement in military history. In March, 1918, Secretary Baker visited the battle fronts of the Allies in France and Italy. In September, 1918, he was present when the American army, after expelling the Germans from their supposedly impregnable positions in the vicinity, liberated the historic town of St. Mihiel.