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Donald Baker

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Information about Donald Baker

Profile image of Donald Baker

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Photographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Beige
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/4/1949
Birth Location:
Washington, District of Columbia

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Photographer

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Beige
Favorite Food:
Salmon
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
6/4/1949
Birth Location:
Washington
See how Donald Baker is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Celebrity photographer Donald Lee Baker was born on June 4, 1949 in Washington, D.C. He and his twin brother, Ronald, were adopted as infants by Bernice and Oscar Baker. His mother was a government worker and his father also worked for the government and operated a watch repair business. He was educated in Washington, D.C. public schools. Baker earned his high school diploma from Anacostia High School in 1967, a year after his twin brother, because he was retained in the third grade. While in high school he was a member of the chorus, drama club and Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC).

After graduation, Baker worked as a dishwasher in a restaurant and for a printing company. From 1969 through 1999 he worked for AT&T telephone company, which was later bought by Verizon. He started out in the mailroom and was quickly promoted to a service representative and later into a management position. Still grieving over the death of his mother and father, who had died within six months of one another in 1969, Baker and his twin were drafted into the military. From 1971 through 1973, Baker served in the army and was stationed at Fort Carson, Colorado. After his honorable discharge from the army he returned to the telephone company and began working as disc jockey and photographer in his spare time.

In 1975, Baker opened his photography and videography business. He met many of his photography clients through his disc jockey assignments and would often take photos in between playing songs at various clubs and events. His portfolio includes photographs of celebrities, politicians and prominent business leaders such as Gordon Parks, Howard Cosell, Stephanie Mills and Donna Summer.

Baker and his brother, also a photographer, are currently working on a book highlighting their work.

Baker was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 22, 2004.

See how Donald Baker is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Baker's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Baker lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Baker talks about his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Baker talks about his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Baker remembers his grandmother and the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Baker recalls a serious injury he suffered when he was fifteen
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Baker talks about his and his brother's adoption and his ignorance of his family history
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Baker recalls his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Baker describes a typical day from his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Baker talks about his parents' divorce
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald Baker describes his childhood street and community and getting into trouble with his brother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donald Baker describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Donald Baker recalls his elementary school years and getting into trouble with his brother, HistoryMaker Ronald Baker
  • Tape: 1 Story: 14 - Donald Baker describes being held back a grade in elementary school
  • Tape: 1 Story: 15 - Donald Baker describes his childhood personality and interests
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Baker talks about his childhood interests and activities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Baker describes his integrated childhood community
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Baker describes important events in the 1960s, including his mother's illness
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Baker talks about his relationship with his twin brother, HistoryMaker Ronald Baker
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Baker describes his religious upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Baker describes his junior high school years and his paper route for the Washington Post
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald Baker recalls the music he listened to during junior high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald Baker describes himself during junior high school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald Baker talks about attending Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Donald Baker talks about his extracurricular activities at Anacostia High School in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Baker talks about himself as a high school student
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Baker talks about his interest in photography
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Baker talks about his mother's illness and selling her car after her death
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Baker talks about working as a dishwasher after graduating from high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Baker talks about working as a dishwasher and finding a job at a local print shop in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Baker describes working at a print shop in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald Baker talks about being hired to work for AT&T
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald Baker describes his experience at AT&T
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donald Baker talks about being drafted into the Vietnam War in 1971
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Donald Baker remembers taking photographs for Don King at Capital Centre in 1976
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Baker talks about working as a disc jockey in Washington, D.C. in the 1970s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Baker talks about working at the Foxtrappe, a social club in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Baker recalls seeing Richard Pryor at the Foxtrappe in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Baker describes photographing HistoryMaker Gordon Parks
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Baker reflects on his brother's photography
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donald Baker reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donald Baker reflects upon how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donald Baker reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donald Baker narrates his photographs