On September 24, 1969, in a closed-door caucus, Senate Republicans narrowly elected Senator Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania over Senator Howard Baker, Jr., of Tennessee to be the new Republican minority leader. Scott had served as the Republican whip for less than a year when the death of Illinois senator Everett Dirksen left the party's leadership position vacant. Elected to the Senate in 1958, Scott served three terms before retiring in 1977. He served as Republican leader for eight years. According to William F. Hildenbrand, Scott's long-time assistant in the Senate, the senator "was a consummate politician." In 1981 a room in the Capitol was designated as the “Hugh Scott Room,” and in 1989, when Senate leaders were establishing a special 15-member Study Group on the Commemoration of the Senate Bicentenary, Scott was selected to chair this panel.