Mr. Babcock received a master's degree from Wayne State University in 1969. He began his career as a caseworker for the Michigan Department of Social Services.
He later directed the state's Office of Drug Abuse and Alcoholism, the Office of Services to the Aging, and the Department of Labor.
In 1981, he was appointed director of the Department of Social Services, the larges cabinet level department. In 1991, he became a senior program consultant for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.