Richard Ben Cramer, Pulitzer Journalist and Best-Selling Baseball Biographer, Dead at 62

Richard Ben Cramer, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and sports biographer, died January 7 from complications related to lung cancer. He was 62. While a reporter for The Philadelphia Enquirer, Cramer won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for his dispatches from the Middle East, and put his journalism background to work in What it Takes: The Way to the White House, a volume on the 1988 U.S. presidential race.

A sports enthusiast, Cramer was praised for his 1986 Esquire portrait of baseball great Ted Williams, which he later expanded into a pair of books on Williams. He scored a 2000 best seller with Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life for which the famed NY Yankees slugger refused to be interviewed.

Rather than simply present his subjects’ lives, Cramer offered insight into their personalities,  their thoughts on fame, and more.

Michael Rogers About Michael Rogers

Michael Rogers ( is Media Editor, Library Journal and Managing Editor of LJ Reviews.


  1. Karl Helicher says:

    Nice tribute, Mike. For a excellent look at RBC and his famous political work, WHAT IT TAKES, see Dick Polman’s column (Phila. Inquirer) Best, Karl