Ray Stannard Baker Obituary
Ray Stannard Baker died of a heart attack on July 12, 1946, in Amherst, Massachusetts. Ray Stannard Baker, journalist, author, and biographer of Woodrow Wilson, was born in Lansing, Michigan on April 17, 1870. After graduating from Michigan Agricultural College he attended the University of Michigan Law School in 1891. After four years as reporter for the Chicago News-Record (1892-96), he joined the staff of McClure's Magazine, a leader in the New Journalism then transforming the national press. During the 190s he dreamed of writing the "Great American Novel," and published several stories for young people in the Youth's Companion, a magazine he himself enjoyed as a boy. With McClure's colleagues Lincoln Steffens and Ida Tarbell, Baker soon gained a national reputation as one of the leading "muckrakers," the term Theodore Roosevelt applied to crusading journalists in 1906. That same year Baker published the first series of "adventures in contentment" under the pen name "David Grayson." Total nine volumes in all, the David Grayson adventures attracted millions of readers world-wide.
In the mid-1900s, Baker began turning his attention to political reform and race relations, & President Roosevelt turned on Baker. The more Roosevelt verbally assaulted investigate reporters, the harder they worked for Progressive Reform. After Baker and his muckraking friends bought American Magazine, he began evaluation on the social and political position of African-Americans. The series of articles drew so much positive feedback that Baker turned it into a book, “Following the Color Line” (1908). This book was considered the most significant piece of journalism of Baker’s career because it had a strong interest appeal on subjects as lynchings, Jim Crow laws, and mulattos. Baker was able to expose problems in society, identify the agents in control. He earned the support and respect of President Woodrow Wilson and eventually worked as...
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