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The Market Research Council mourns the loss of Reginald Paul Baker, a member of the MRC’s prestigious Hall of Fame. Reg passed away on May 16, 2024. He made significant contributions to our field and will be greatly missed.

Reg was born in 1947 in Ogdensburg, NY, the eldest of four children, Reg was the first in his family to attend college. He graduated from LeMoyne, a private Jesuit institution, in 1968 with a degree in history and went on to acquire his PhD in (also in history) at the University of Pittsburgh in 1976. He taught at the University for several years, during which time he met his future wife, Pat. It was also during this time that Reg first developed his interest in statistics and computer science, which steered his ultimate career trajectory into market research.

In 1984 Reg joined the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago, becoming Vice President of Research Operations. In 1995 he was approached by Market Strategies, Inc in Southfield, MI to serve as their Chief Operating Officer, a position he held until his first “retirement” in 2012. He became increasingly active in both the North American and international market research communities, joining the American Association of Public Opinion Research, Council of American Survey Research Organization, the Market Research Council, and the European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research.

Reg continued his achievements in market research as elder and emeritus. He was a consultant to ESOMAR’s Professional Standards Committee as well as the US Census Bureau, and co-chaired AAPOR’s Task Force on Non-Probability Sampling. He was an Executive Editorial Board Member of the International Journal of Market Research and taught at both the University of Michigan and Michigan State University in their market research programs. From 2014-2018 Reg was the Executive Director at the Marketing Research Institute International, working in conjunction with the University of Georgia to create the Principle Express family of courses that offers affordable education to market researchers across the globe.

For his last two years before full retirement he served ESOMAR as their North American Ambassador. As an acknowledgement for his accomplishments in the field, MRII introduced the Reg Baker Award in 2020; he was also elected to the Market Research Council’s Hall of Fame and was named a Laureate by the Insights Association in 2017, its inaugural year. Overall he spent almost 40 years in the industry, with a focus on the application of new technologies to methodology and operations. Reg also authored The Survey Geek website, where he frequently posted on a variety of research and non-research topics.

In addition to his commitment to market research, Reg had three passions: photography, music, and bird-watching. Every spring he looked forward to the new migratory season, and his obsession led him to sojourns across North America in the quest for more birds, from the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge in Washington state to Point Pelee National Park in Ontario, Canada. Despite his many accolades in market research, Reg’s proudest accomplishment may have been his birding “life list.” After his true retirement in 2022 Reg updated his LinkedIn status to “Gone Birding.”

As an homage to his love for birds and nature, the family asks that anyone wishing to memorialize Reg’s life consider donating to the American Birding Association or the National Audubon Society.