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Former Fort Smith Mayor Ray Baker dies

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 4, 2011 at 12:17 p.m.

Ray Baker, who served five terms as mayor of Fort Smith and received multiple honors during his career as an educator, has died.

Fort Smith television station KFSM reports that Baker died just after 11 a.m. Friday, citing Baker’s sister, Toy Baker.

Baker conducted himself with great enthusiasm as mayor and was known to jump in the air when announcing new projects.

Baker taught in the Fort Smith school system for 46 years, retiring in 2007. He spent 44 of those years at Southside High School, where he taught social studies.

He spent a decade on the city board before being elected mayor in 1990. Baker was defeated in November by Sandy Sanders.

Among his many teaching awards, Baker took home the Miliken Family Foundation National Educator Award in 1995.

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