Pulitzer winner delved into politics, baseball
WASHINGTON — Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer, whose narrative nonfiction spanned presidential politics and the game of baseball, has died. He was 62.
Cramer died Monday at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore from complications of lung cancer, his agent, Philippa Brophy, said. Cramer lived with his wife, Joan, on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Cramer won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting from the Middle East while with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Other notable work included a best-selling biography of New York Yankees great Joe DiMaggio, an influential magazine profile of hitter Ted Williams and a critically acclaimed, behind-the-scenes account of the 1988 presidential race, “What It Takes: The Way to the White House.” Cramer was known for an in-depth reporting style that involved spending significant time with the subjects he profiled and re-creating scenes with vivid color and dialogue. His 1986 profile of Williams in Esquire magazine traced the slugger's career from early days to post-baseball life in the Florida Keys, where, Cramer wrote, locals might run into him at the tennis club, coffee bar or tackle shop.
His book on the 1988 presidential race delved into the lives and careers of the candidates, explaining how eventual winner George H.W. Bush had early in his political career resisted the urging by advisers to speak openly about his war record or the death of his young daughter from leukemia — personal topics he later discussed movingly during his campaign.
Vice President Joe Biden, who ran for the White House in 1988 and was featured in the book, said, “It is a powerful thing to read a book someone has written about you, and to find both the observations and criticisms so sharp and insightful that you learn something new and meaningful about yourself.”
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments â either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.