TribLIVE

| Obituaries


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Pulitzer winner delved into politics, baseball

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, 7:38 p.m.
 

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.”

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Rossi: Pirates must land Lester
  2. Steelers notebook: Brown calls Sanders’ comments about Roethlisberger ‘terrible’
  3. Steelers hold high hopes for pass defense
  4. After years of lobbying, Big Ben has Steelers running the no-huddle
  5. Joe Greene only 2nd player in Steelers history to get number retired
  6. Pirates notebook: Trade rumors for Red Sox pitcher Lester still swirling
  7. Pirates manage to stumble on the bases in bid for sweep of Giants
  8. Blairsville bar, adjacent building on fire
  9. Pittsburgh Public Safety Director Bucar upset with DA Zappala for alert
  10. Layoffs possible at 5 state system schools, including Edinboro, Clarion
  11. 30 cited for blocking street at union rally at UPMC facility
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.