Governor Charles Duane Baker Jr. was born in Elmira, New York in November of 1956. His childhood was filled with conversations about politics, as his father worked under the Nixon and Reagan administrations, as well as for John Volpe, governor of Massachusetts from 1961-1963 and 1965-1969. After graduating from Needham High School, he attended Harvard College, where he had a brief stint as a basketball player there―partially thanks to his 6’6″ frame―and later went to Northwestern University to earn his MBA. Governor Baker would go on to become the secretary of Health and Human Resources, as well as the secretary for Administration and Finance for the Commonwealth under Governors Weld and Cellucci.
He left the public sector to become the CEO and President of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, turning huge losses into a profitable business. During this time he was also elected to be a Selectman for the town of Swampscott, MA. In 2009 he ran for governor for the first time, losing to Democratic incumbent Deval Patrick in the general election. In 2014, he ran again and won the governorship by a slim margin to Democrat Martha Coakley. As of July 2018, Baker has an approval rating of 69%, the highest of any governor in the United States of America. This, in part, is due to his fiscal conservatism and cultural liberalism, and his priority to put the people of Massachusetts, not himself or the Republican party, first.