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Russell Baker
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Commentator
    (August 14, 1925-January 21, 2019)
    Born in Loudon, Virginia
    Journalist and essayist
    Wrote the ‘Observer’ column for the New York Times (1962-98)
    Hosted Masterpiece Theatre (1992-2004)
    Wrote ‘An American in Washington’ (1961), ‘No Need to Panic’ (1964), ‘Poor Russell’s Almanac’ (1972), ‘Growing Up’ (1982), and ‘The Good Times’ (1989)
    Edited ‘The Norton Book of Light Verse’ (1986) and ‘Russell Baker’s Book of American Humor’ (1993)
    Chaired the Columbia University Pulitzer Prize board (1993-94)
    He said the nadir of his journalism career was bluffing his way through an interview with Evelyn Waugh, despite the handicap of not having read any of Waugh’s books.
    He wrote a musical, ‘Home Again, Home Again,’ that closed during tryouts without making it to Broadway (1979).
    He was a self-proclaimed ‘sourpuss,’ who replied to the question ‘What makes you laugh out loud’ with ‘Very little.’
    He said about appearing on TV, ‘I can't bear to look at myself. I fancied that I was an exceedingly charming, witty and handsome young man, and here's this fidgeting old fellow whose hair is parted on the wrong side.’
    He was married to Miriam Nash for 65 years.
    His column was a departure from the dry and solemn writing that then prevailed at the New York Times.
    James Reston called him ‘the best writer in the newspaper business that I know about.’
    He won two Pulitzer Prizes: one for commentary for his observer columns (1979) and one for biography for his memoirs ‘Growing Up.’ (1983)

Credit: C. Fishel


    For 2019, as of last week, Out of 37 Votes: 51.35% Annoying
    In 2018, Out of 17 Votes: 94.12% Annoying
 
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