Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Baldwin learned to swim in the Niagara River at age five. He set a national record as captain of his high school swim team and at Michigan State, where he was a three-time all-American. After graduation Baldwin was commissioned into the US Air Force. During the Vietnam War he flew 135 F-4 combat missions, earning the Bronze Star and four air medals. He retired in 1976 and moved to San Antonio where he took up swimming once again. As a pioneer in US Masters and Senior Games Swimming, Baldwin earned 63 number one swims and eight world records. His finest swims were in 2000 when he managed to have 17 number one World Fina Masters swims, setting five world records. Baldwin is in both the Texas and National Senior Games Hall of Fame after winning 45 national gold medals and setting 32 national records and eight world records. In 1986 he married Dianne Donovan, a non-swimmer who was instrumental in getting him involved in Masters and the Senior Games.