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'Great Conciliator' Howard Baker dies

Howard H. Baker, then-US Ambassador to Japan is pictured at the US Embassy, May 2, 2003 in TokyoHoward Baker, a former Senate majority leader and presidential contender known for his ability to achieve compromise across the political aisle, died on Thursday. Baker became the first Republican leader of the Senate in 26 years when he took the reins in 1981. He later went on to serve as chief of staff for president Ronald Reagan, to whom he lost the Republican nomination in 1980. Current Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who took to the Senate floor to announce Baker’s death, hailed his former colleague as “one of the Senate’s most towering figures.”

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