Baker, Russell, 1925–2018, American journalist, author, humorist, and television personality, b. Loudon Co., Va., grad. John Hopkins (1947). He began as a night police reporter for The Baltimore Sun, became a London and White House correspondent for the Sun, and was hired by the New York Times in 1954. After covering the White House, State Dept., and Congress and writing the wry guide An American in Washington (1961), he began (1962) The Observer, the Times column he wrote until 1998. Often satirical and humorous, with varied subject matter, it won him a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1979. Baker wrote 15 books in all, many of which are collections of his columns. His boyhood autobiography, Growing Up (1982), also won a Pulitzer; The Good Times (1989) covers his early days as a reporter. Other books include the essay collection Looking Back: Heroes, Rascals, and Other Icons of the American Imagination (2002). From 1993 to 2004 he hosted public television's Masterpiece Theatre.
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