Hall of Fame President David Baker's Bio


David Baker, and his wife Colleen, moved from Newport Beach, California to Canton, Ohio in 2014 when he was named the President of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Baker’s leadership has transformed the Hall of Fame and is making a big impact on the lives of others.

His physical stature – 6’9” and nearly 400 pounds – is overshadowed by his large vision for the Hall. He has embarked on an endeavor to dramatically expand the Hall of Fame’s brand across the world in addition to enhancing its campus in Canton all while focusing on the organization’s powerful Mission to “Honor the Heroes of the Game, Preserve its History, Promote its Values & Celebrate Excellence EVERYWHERE.”

"(Baker's) imagination is every bit as expansive as his enormous 6-foot-9 frame." – Crain's Cleveland Business

Baker came to Canton with a reputation as an experienced and passionate leader in business, politics and sports and is dedicated to inspiring exponential growth in individuals and organizations of excellence that seek to make a difference in their communities and the world. He possesses a long record of success as a catalyst for rapid and dramatic growth combined with his deep passion, unparalleled work ethic and effective communication style.

Under his guidance and leadership, the Pro Football Hall of Fame has experienced significant growth. The Hall has greatly expanded programming across the country; experienced increased television ratings; received broader exposure of the Hall’s Mission, Values and Vision; and recorded the greatest financial results in the organization’s 53-year history. In his first two years as President, the organization’s net assets grew an astonishing 105.2%.

He is also leading the Hall of Fame Village project, a $500 million master planned development of the Hall’s campus that will create “Football Heaven” for all who love the Game. The dynamic project, on target to be completed in 2019 for the NFL’s 100th season, includes eight main components: the Pro Football Hall of Fame Museum; Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium & Entertainment Complex; a Four-Star Hotel & Conference Center; Legends Landing Senior Living Community; a State-of-the-Art National Football & Youth Sports Complex; The Center for EXCELLENCE (Coaches University; an Academy of Corporate Excellence; the Institute for Officiating and the Center for Athletic Performance and Safety); Main Street Hall of Fame (restaurants and support retail); and the HOF/NFL Family Experience (high-tech virtual reality game day experiences).

“Canton has the opportunity to do something like  we did with our stadium in  Dallas.  Our  sport has no peer like  David Baker  when it comes  to our game  and what these great men and women have done for the fundamentals. Hall of Famers embody a lot of what we want our young people to be. David Baker has shown not only an elegant way of presenting it, but he has meat on the bone when it comes  to getting it done.” – Jerry Jones, Dallas Cowboys Owner/President/General Manager

Baker is an attorney by trade who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Criticism from the University of California at Irvine and his Juris Doctorate from the Pepperdine School of Law during which time he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Pepperdine Law Review.

Baker played professional basketball in Switzerland and worldwide with a Christian basketball team that beat the best in the world. He was elected Mayor and Councilman of Irvine, Calif., the country’s first master-planned city and served for 12 years as the Commissioner of the Arena Football League.

Fueled by his establishment of the first-ever Mission Statement and Fan Bill of Rights in sports, the Arena Football League brand grew dramatically as the most fan-friendly league in the world. Team values escalated from $175,000 to $32 million due, at least in part, to Baker’s ability to negotiate television contracts and his tireless work to establish partnerships with the NFL and major sponsors.

From 2009 to 2014, he served as the Managing Partner for Union Village, the first integrated health village in the world that is located in Henderson, Nevada. The $1.3 billion mixed use project will provide 17,000 jobs in the community created for 1,500 seniors.

Baker is the father of two boys – Ben who is the Director of Broadcasting at NASCAR and Sam who played left tackle for the Atlanta Falcons. David and Colleen also have a daughter Leyla and a son, Michael; and are the proud grandparents of six beautiful grandchildren.

With a focus on the Hall of Fame’s five core values – commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence – Baker leads by example as he works to transform the Pro Football Hall of Fame from a destination into “The Most Inspiring Place on Earth!”