Baker, Ray Stannard, 1870-1946

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1870-04-17
Death 1946-07-12
us

Biographical notes:

American journalist.

From the description of Letter : to the Cosmos Club, 1910 Mar. 31. (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122545959

American journalist and author who also wrote under the name David Grayson.

From the description of [Notebooks] [microform]. 1880-1946. (Oceanside Free Library). WorldCat record id: 36820111

American author and journalist. He is also known by the pseudonym David Grayson.

From the description of Letter and an envelope, 1901. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 367574538

Ray Stannard Baker was an American journalist and author, best known for his work with McClure's and American. Born and educated in Michigan, an interest in journalism secured him a job with the Chicago News-Record. Motivated and hard-working, he became a skilled journalist, and also wrote articles for various magazines. In 1898 he moved to New York to join the staff of McClure's Magazine, an upscale and influential publication specializing in human interest stories. His success led to several collections of articles, as well as several other books, and ultimately to his becoming co-owner of American Magazine. A supporter of Woodrow Wilson, Baker was chosen to write Wilson's biography, which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1940. Baker is remembered as a skilled journalist able to write on a variety of subjects, a conscientious social reformer, and a man who was very much in step with his times.

From the description of Ray Stannard Baker letter and postal card to Mrs. Leland S. Rhodes, 1942. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 79412628

American journalist and author

From the guide to the Ray Stannard Baker letter and note, 1939, undated, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Journalist and author.

From the description of Ray Stannard Baker papers, 1836-1947 (bulk 1907-1944). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71062731

Ray Stannard Baker was a journalist, author, and authorized biographer of Woodrow Wilson.

He was born on April 17, 1870 in Lansing, Michigan to Joseph Stannard Baker and Alice Potter. Baker received a B.S. degree from Michigan Agricultural College in East Lansing in 1889. In 1892 he entered the University of Michigan for law school, but left after a few months, instead turning to journalism. He reported for the Chicago News-Record from 1892-1898 and also took on independent writing for periodicals. He joined the staff of McClure's magazine beginning in 1898, continuing his freelance work and traveling the country and abroad. Baker was interested in social issues of the early twentieth century, and was considered a "muckraker." Baker joined with John S. Phillips, Lincoln Steffens, Ida M. Tarbell, and several other journalists to purchase the American Magazine; he was the editor of American Magazine from 1906-1915. In 1918 Baker served as a special agent of the State Department in Great Britain, France, and Italy, and at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 he directed the American delegation's Press Bureau. Baker became a strong advocate of Wilson's work as a peacemaker and of the League of Nations. In 1922 he published a more three-volume work entitled "Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement" on those topics. Baker's involvement with Wilson continued in the mid-1920s, when he and William E. Dodd edited "The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson" (6 vols., 1925-1927). Baker was given access to the Wilson papers before Wilson left the White House, and in 1925 Edith Wilson selected him as her husband's authorized biographer. Baker spent fifteen years on the biography; the first two volumes of "Woodrow Wilson: Life and Letters" appeared in 1927, and six additional volumes were published during the next twelve years. The biography was never really finished, only going up to the Armistice of 1918. Baker's treatment of Wilson was important, and he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1940. Baker married Jessie Irene Beal, the daughter of his college botany professor, in 1896. They had four children. Baker died July 12, 1946 in Amherst, Massachusetts.

From the description of Ray Stannard Baker papers, 1905-1944 (bulk 1912-1940) (Peking University Library). WorldCat record id: 156028972

Biographical Note

1870, Apr. 17 Born, Lansing, Mich. 1889 B.S., Michigan State College, East Lansing, Mich. 1892 1897 Reporter and editor of Chicago Record 1896 Married Jessie I. Beal 1897 1898 Managing editor, McClure's Syndicate 1899 1905 Associate editor, McClure's Magazine 1900 Published Our New Prosperity. New York: Doubleday & McClure 1906 1915 Editor, American Magazine 1907 Published Adventures in Contentment. New York: Doubleday. First in a series of books published under the pseudonym David Grayson 1908 Published Following the Color Line. New York: Doubleday 1918 Special Commissioner for Department of State in Great Britain, France, and Italy 1919 Director of Press Bureau, American Commission to Negotiate Peace, Paris, France Published What Wilson Did at Paris. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page 1922 Published Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page 1925 1927 Published with William E. Dood The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson. New York: Harper and Brothers. 6 vols. 1927 1939 Published Woodrow Wilson: Life and Letters. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Page. 8 vols. 1928 Democratic Party presidential elector for Massachusetts 1940 Awarded Pulitzer Prize for biography 1941 Published Native American: The Book of My Youth. New York: C. Scribner's Sons 1943 1944 Technical adviser during production of the motion picture "Woodrow Wilson" 1945 Published American Chronicle. New York: C. Scribner's Sons 1946, July 12 Died, Amherst, Mass.

From the guide to the Ray Stannard Baker Papers, 1836-1947, (bulk 1907-1944), (Manuscript Division Library of Congress)

Ray Stannard Baker (1870-1946) was a journalist, editor, and author. He earned recognition for his articles on liberal reform, for his philosophical essays written under the pseudonym David Grayson, and for his authorized biography and other works on President Woodrow Wilson. He worked at the News-Record in Chicago, McClure's magazine, American Magazine, and as an independent author.

Baker was born on April 17, 1870 in Lansing, Michigan to Joseph Stannard Baker and Alice (Potter) Baker. Baker received a B.S. degree from Michigan Agricultural College in East Lansing in 1889. After working at his father's real estate business, Baker returned to college, entering the University of Michigan for law school in 1892. He shifted his study to literature and studied journalism under Fred Newton Scott, leaving the university after a semester to pursue a career in journalism.

His first job in the field of journalism was in 1892 as a cub reporter at the Chicago News-Record, an independent newspaper. His coverage of a restaurant strike earned him a promotion to a regular staff job. He continued to report on strikes and labor unrest, crime, and the plight of the urban poor, and his coverage of the march of Coxey's army, a labor group, in 1894 earned him an editorship at the News-Record . While at the News-Record, Baker also began writing independently for periodicals.

In 1897, Baker joined the staff of McClure’s magazine, which was at the forefront of a new style of journalism that emphasized critical investigative reporting that became known as "muckraking." He was managing editor of McClure's Syndicate from 1897 to 1898 and associate editor of McClure's magazine from 1899 to 1905. He also continued his freelance work and traveling the country and abroad. Baker was the author of many articles on social and economic problems, as seen from a liberal viewpoint, with the purpose of exposing corruption and instigating reform. He earned a national reputation for his writings on industrial relations, including coverage of strikes and working conditions. In 1906, after internal conflict at McClure's, Baker and several other journalists, including John S. Phillips, Lincoln Steffens, and Ida M. Tarbell, left and purchased the American Magazine, where he continued to write progressively on social and political issues. He was the editor of American Magazine from 1906 to 1915.

Beginning in 1899, Baker also began writing and publishing books. His works include Boys' Book of Inventions (1899), Seen in Germany (1901), Following the Color Line (1908), The Spiritual Unrest (1910), and The New Industrial Unrest (1920). His greatest popularity as a writer, however, was under the pseudonym of David Grayson. These books, collections of philosophical essays on various aspects of nature from the point of view of a farmer, include Adventures in Contentment (1907), Adventures of Friendship (1910), The Friendly Road (1913), Adventures in Understanding (1925), and Adventures in Solitude (1931). Baker also wrote his autobiography, in two volumes: Native American (1941) and American Chronicle (1945).

In 1918, Baker served as Special Commissioner of the State Department in Great Britain, France, and Italy. In this capacity, he traveled through Europe, meeting with statesmen and leaders of liberal movements and reporting on potentially disruptive radicals in those countries. In 1919, Baker served as Director of the Press Bureau of the American Commission to Negotiate Peace at the Paris Peace Conference, a role that essentially made him the President's press secretary. This began an association with Wilson that would last for the rest of Baker's life. Baker became a strong advocate of Wilson's work as a peacemaker and especially of the League of Nations. Baker wrote What Wilson Did at Paris in 1919 and in 1922 published a three-volume work entitled Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement to describe Wilson's struggles to establish a lasting peace. Baker also co-editing the six volume The Public Papers of Woodrow Wilson with William E. Dodd, published from 1925 to 1927. Wilson asked Baker, shortly before his death, to write his authorized biography. Baker spent fifteen years on the biography; the first two volumes of Woodrow Wilson: Life and Letters appeared in 1927 and six additional volumes were published during the next twelve years, for which he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1940.

Baker married Jessie Irene Beal, the daughter of his former college botany professor, on January 1, 1896. They had four children: Alice Beal (Hyde), James Stannard, Roger Denio and Rachel Moore (Napier). Baker died on July 12, 1946 in Amherst, Massachusetts.

From the guide to the Ray Stannard Baker Papers, 1887-1944, 1909-1919, (Princeton University. Library. Dept. of Rare Books and Special Collections)



Biographical notes are generated from the bibliographic and archival source records supplied by data contributors.

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Subjects:

  • Peace treaties.
  • Peace treaties--20th century
  • Journalism--United States.
  • Journalists--Diaries
  • Journalists--Correspondence
  • African Americans--History
  • American newspapers--Illinois--Chicago.
  • African Americans--History.
  • Labor
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- Peace.
  • Progressivism (United States politics)
  • American newspapers
  • American history/Gilded Age, Populism, Progressivism
  • Industries--United States.
  • World War, 1914-1918--Peace
  • World War, 1914-1918--Peace.
  • Journalism
  • Biographers -- United States.
  • Authors, American--Correspondence
  • Industries
  • American history/20th century
  • Editors--20th century
  • Labor--United States.
  • Biographers--20th century
  • Authors, American--20th century--Diaries
  • American politics and government
  • World War, 1914-1918 -- United States.

Occupations:

  • Authors.
  • Journalists.

Places:

  • Illinois--Chicago (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)