Ray Stannard Baker


 A Guide to Resources


 Ray Stannard Baker, journalist, author, and biographer of Woodrow Wilson, was born in Lansing, Michigan on April 17, 1870 and died in Amherst, Massachusetts on July 12, 1946. After graduating from Michigan Agricultural College (later Michigan State) he briefly attended the University of Michigan Law school (1891) before launching a career as one of the leading journalists of his generation. 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 numerous stories for young people in the Youth's Companion, a magazine he himself enjoyed as a boy. But 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 of a series of "adventures in contentment" under the pen name "David Grayson." Totaling nine volumes in all, the David Grayson adventures attracted millions of readers world-wide. Uneasy with the "muckraker" label, Baker joined several colleagues to found the American Magazine (1906). In later years, he abandoned the hard-hitting journalism of the McClure's years, but contined to chronicle the social and political life of the nation. In Following the Color Line (1908) and numerous articles during the 1910s, he was the first prominent journalist to focus on America's racial divide. After supporting President Theodore Roosevelt, Baker flirted briefly with socialism for several years before embracing the candidacy of Woodrow Wilson in 1912. Serving as Wilson's press secretary at Versailles, he eventually published fifteen volumes on Wilson and internationalism, including his 8 volume Woodrow Wilson: Life and Letters (1927-39), and advised on Darryl F. Zanuck's film Wilson (1944).

Works by Ray Stannard Baker (bibliography)

Books and Articles about Ray Stannard Baker (bibliography)

Writings of Ray Stannard Baker: On-line editions

Writings About Baker:Online Editions

On-line sites relating to Baker

Manuscript Collections

"Baker and the Legacy of Progressivism." Paper to be presented at MAPLE LEAF AND EAGLE CONFERENCE, Helsinki, Finland, September 13,2000

Muckraking in the Progressive Era

Muckrakers: Biography and Autobiography


Prepared by: Robert Bannister (rbannis1@swarthmore.edu). Latest revision8/24/00 Send comments or suggestions to Robert Bannister rbannis1@swarhmore.edu Department of History, Swarthmore (emeritus)