Irene Baker

Irene Bailey Baker ( born November 17, 1901 in Sevierville, Sevier County, Tennessee, † April 2, 1994 in Loudon, Tennessee) was an American politician. Between 1964 and 1965, she represented the state of Tennessee in the U.S. House of Representatives.


Edith Irene Bailey, as her maiden name, attended the public schools of their home and then studied music. Between 1918 and 1924 she was deputy bailiff in various courts in Tennessee. After the death of her first husband, she worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA ). In 1935 she married the future Congressman Howard Henry Baker. Thus, it was also stepmother of 1925 born later U.S. Senator Howard Baker and his sister. With her husband she had a daughter.

As her husband was also Irene Baker member of the Republican Party. Between 1960 and 1964 she was a member of the Republican National Committee. After the sudden death of her husband, who was at that time still a congressman, it was due to the election for the second seat from Tennessee as his successor in the U.S. House of Representatives in Washington DC chosen, where they took up their new mandate on 10 March 1964. She had said from the beginning to only want to leave her late husband the opened legislature, and held on to that promise by opted not to run again for the congressional elections of 1964. Until January 3, 1965, she ended the current term. During her time as an MEP she was a member of the House Committee on Government Operations. They fought for a balanced budget and promoted, among others, coal mining, the TVA and the development of nuclear energy.

After her retirement from the U.S. House of Representatives Baker worked for the city of Knoxville as head of the Social Welfare Office, 1965-1971. She also spent her life in this city. Irene Baker died on April 2, 1994 in Loudon.