Russell Baker was born in Loudoun County, Virginia in 1925. He graduated from John Hopkins University with a degree in English and then he started working as a reporter for the Baltimore Sun from 1947-1954. Baker started out as a reporter chasing police cars around town. He worked his way up to a London correspondant, then later became the White House reporter.
In 1954, Baker joined the New York Times as their Washington reporter and covered the White House, Congress and anything remotely to do with politics. Through his political commentary and wit; Baker started writing an op-ed column called the "Observer" in 1962. For 32 years Baker had written for the "Observer" column until December 25, 1998 in which he retired.
Russell Baker won two Pulitzer prizes for his commentary in 1979, and one for his book called "Growing Up" in 1983. In addition to "Growing Up", Baker has also published over one dozen other books, including, The Rescue of Miss Yaskell, So This IS Depravity, The Good Times, There's a Country in My Cellar, Book of American Humor and The Norton Book of Light Verse.
Baker served as a member of the Pulitzer Prize Board in the late 80's and early 90's. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is has been the host of Masterpiece Theater since 1993.
Even after all his years of experience, Baker is still going.
Russell Baker has been known for many of his humorous quotations. Here are just some of the many Russell Baker quotes:
- Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories - those that don't work, those that break down and those that get lost.
- Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperatelly? I say that what we really need is a car that can be shot when it breaks down.
- Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.
- People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of the pleasure.
- People who say you're just as old as you feel are all wrong, fortunately.
- The only thing I was fit for was to be a writer, and this notion rested solely on my suspicion that I would never be fit for real work, and that writing didn't require any.