They were the best of friends, native Houstonian James Baker and Houstonian-by-choice George HW Bush. It began on the tennis court 60 years ago….and Baker has said it was a friendship that bonded forever and sustained him when he lost his first wife at the age of 38, with 4 small kids to raise.
To help move Baker from grief, Bush, chairman of the Harris County Republican party, asked for help with his campaign for the U.S. Senate…1964. He lost but would be elected to Congress, 2 years later.
And Baker, the Democrat, changed into Republican forever. He would go on to serve 4 Presidents…Ford, Reagan, Bush and Bush…. An equally impressive record of service to our country that began as a Marine. Yet another bond with the Navy veteran Bush.
41 without hesitation nominated James Baker to be his Secretary of State. It was a diplomatic team that oversaw extreme changes in world history.
And these two friends were together at the end….Baker told me that it was a gentle passing for his best friend. You can hear our conversation right here at KTRH.com.