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Dr. Norman Baker Biography
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Dr. Norman Baker Biography
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Dr Norman G Baker
Birth: Nov. 27, 1882
Muscatine
Muscatine County
Iowa, USA
Death: Sep. 8, 1958
Dade County
Florida, USA

Convicted felon, inventor, and charlatan. He was a star mentalist on the vaudeville circuit in the early 1900's and made a fortune in the 1910's by inventing the Tangley Calliaphone. He built KTNT (Know the Naked Truth) radio in Iowa in 1925 and published TNT Magazine, where he made relentless attacks over the air and in print on established medical procedures and the American Medical Association. In 1930, President Herbert Hoover helped to launch Baker's tabloid newspaper, the Midwest Free Press by participating in a publicity stunt in which the president pushed a golden key from Washington D.C. to start Baker's printing press. Although having no formal education, he called himself "Dr." and opened a hospital in Iowa where he claimed he could cure cancer and many other maladies. He ran an unsuccessful campaign for governor of Iowa in 1932, even though his radio station had been shut down by the Federal Radio Commission and he had been run out of the state. His campaign was conducted while he was a fugitive from justice in Mexico, where he opened a cross-border radio station, XENT. He was sued and his hospital in Iowa shut down, so he moved his cancer patients to Eureka Springs, Arkansas in the building that is currently the Crescent Hotel. He was finally convicted of federal mail fraud in 1940 because of his "guarantees to cure cancer" sent through the mail and he was imprisoned for four years. Several books about his life are available including Quacks & Crusaders - the Fabulous Careers of John Brinkley, Norman Baker, and Harry Hoxsey; Doctors, Dynamiters and Gunmen - the Life Story of Norman Baker; The Throttle - a Fact Story of Norman Baker; and The Grand Old Lady of the Ozarks. (bio by: Goldie Browning)