Karl Jack Bauer (born 30 July 1926 in Springfield, Ohio – died 17 September 1987 in Troy, New York), was one of the founders of the North American Society for Oceanic History and a well-known naval historian. NASOH’s K. Jack Bauer Award is named in his memory.
The son of Charles August Bauer, an engineer, and Isabelle Fairbanks, Jack Bauer attended Harvard University, where he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1948. He went on to graduate study at Indiana University, where he earned his M.A. in 1949 with a thesis on "United States naval shipbuilding programs, 1775-1860" and his Ph.D. degree in 1953 with a dissertation on "United States naval operations during the Mexican War."
On 18 August 1951, he married Dorothy Sargent, with whom he had three children, Eric, Neil, and Anne.
Jack Bauer worked at the National Archives as an archivist in 1954-55, then in 1955-57 was appointed an historian with the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Branch, where he worked on a volume of the USMC history of World War II. In 1957, he transferred to the Naval History Division, where he worked with Samuel Eliot Morison’s staff in preparing Morison’s monumental History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War II. After four years as an assistant professor at Morris Harvey College from 1961 to 1965, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute appointed him an associate professor in 1965 and then professor of history in 1970, serving there for the reminder of his career. In 1977-78, he was visiting professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
The United States Navy appointed Bauer to the Secretary of the Navy's Advisory Committee on Naval History and he served as member of council of the American Military Institute, 1959–1962 and in 1980.