Newton Baker was born in West Virginia in 1871. After graduating from John Hopkins University (1892) he became as a lawyer in Cleveland, Ohio.
After the United States entered the First World War Baker drew up plans for universal military conscription which resulted in the mobilization of more than 4 million men.
In 1920 Baker returned to his legal practice in Cleveland. He joined the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague in 1928 and the following year Herbert Hoover appointed him to the Law Enforcement Commission. In his retirement Baker wrote Why We Went to War (1936). Newton Baker died on 25th December, 1937.