When Baker was only five, his father died. His mother, strong-willed and matriarchal, never looked back. After all, she had three children to raise.
These were depression years, and Mrs. Baker moved her fledgling family to Baltimore. Baker’s mother was determined her children would succeed, and we know her regimen worked for Russell. He did everything from delivering papers to hustling subscriptions for the Saturday Evening Post. As is often the case, early hardships made the man.