No one who was in the Senate gallery when Mr. Baker announced his retirement from the chamber in 1984 will forget his personal reminiscence. He stood at his lectern in the front row of the chamber, his colleagues standing around him, a mist of poignancy in the air, and he recalled his years in Washington. It was a speech that was, by turns, sorrowful and sentimental. The Senate majority leader recalled that he had come to the chamber young, idealistic and rich. Then he departed, as none of those things.
North Shore native David M. Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.