Baker, Ray Stannard

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Baker, Ray Stannard

Ray Stannard Baker, pseud. David Grayson, 1870–1946, American author, b. Lansing, Mich., grad. Michigan State College (now Michigan State Univ.), 1889. At first a Chicago newspaper reporter, he joined the staff of McClure's Magazine in 1897, for which he wrote some famous muckraking articles. With other McClure's contributors he purchased the American Magazine in 1906 and helped edit it. The first book of quiet country sketches by "David Grayson," Adventures in Contentment, appeared in 1907; the series continued with Great Possessions (1917), The Countryman's Year (1936), and others. An intimate of Woodrow Wilson, Baker was sent to Europe in 1918 as one of the president's special agents to study the war situation. At the peace conference at Versailles, Baker was director of the press bureau of the American peace commission. Afterward he wrote Woodrow Wilson and World Settlement (3 vol., 1922), a history of the peace conference based largely on the Wilson papers. With W. E. Dodd he edited Wilson's Public Papers (6 vol., 1925–26). His authoritative biography of Wilson (8 vol., 1927–39), for which he used the president's personal papers, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 1940 for the last two volumes.

See his autobiographical works, Native American: The Book of My Youth (1941) and American Chronicle (1945).

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