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Richard Ben Cramer

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Richard Ben Cramer

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Richard Ben Cramer was a journalist for a number of newspapers after attending Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism, including the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Baltimore Sun. He also wrote for publications as diverse as Rolling Stone and Esquire. In 1979, he won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting for his coverage of the Middle East. His most famous political book was an account of the 1988 Presidential election entitled: What It Takes: The Way to the White House, which was published in 1992.

Cramer had a lifelong interest in baseball - he had unsuccessfully tried out for the baseball team back in high school in Rochester, NY - and wrote a number of books on the subject: Ted Williams: The Seasons of the Kid (1991), Joe DiMaggio: The Hero's Life (2000) and What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now? A Remembrance (2002). A staunch fan of the New York Yankees, he had been working on a biography of Alex Rodriguez at the time of his death from lung cancer in 2013; however, the project had been abandoned, and the Hachette Publishing Group sued to recover the considerable advance it had paid Cramer, unaware that he was seriously ill. His first book about Ted Williams stemmed from an in-depth profile he wrote for Esquire in 1986, based on interviews with a slew of persons who knew the great hitter; his book about Joe DiMaggio was turned into a biographical documentary, of which he co-wrote the script and served as the narrator.

Even his seminal book on presidential politics had baseball overtones, as a long set piece is about then Vice President George H.W. Bush throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at the Astrodome before an NLCS game between the Houston Astros and New York Mets in 1986, delving on the incredibly complex logistics of such a seemingly simple event.

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