WASHINGTON (June 26, 2014) Former U.S. Sen. Howard Baker, Jr., who asked what President Richard Nixon knew about Watergate, has died at the age of 88,
U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander confirmed in a news release Thursday.
Baker, a Republican, served 18 years in the Senate, earning the respect of Republicans and Democrats alike and rising to the post of majority leader.
He served as White House chief of staff at the end of the Reagan administration and was U.S. ambassador to Japan during President George W. Bush's first term.
His question at the 1973 Senate Watergate hearings, "What did the president know and when did he know it?" became famous.
It instantly focused the nation's attention on the cover-up, which, more than the Watergate break-in itself, eventually brought down Nixon's presidency.
U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., described Baker as "the ultimate statesman," and someone "who had the unique ability to bring out the very best in those around him."