NPR : News

Filed Under:

Richard Ben Cramer, Winner Of Pulitzer Prize And Masterful Reporter, Dies

Richard Ben Cramer, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979 for his reporting from the Middle East for the Philadelphia Inquirer and went on to write critically acclaimed books and magazine pieces, has died.

The Inquirer reports that Cramer, who was 62, "died Monday ... of lung cancer at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore."

The New York Times reminds us that after leaving the Inquirer in 1984, Cramer "went on to write for Sports Illustrated, Rolling Stone and Esquire, where in 1986, he wrote an article, 'What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now?,' about the iconic baseball player. The article, which seemed to strip Mr. Williams bare and reconstruct him anew in the eyes of his fans, became a hallmark of sports journalism."

His account of the 1988 presidential election — What It Takes: The Way to the White House — "has been hailed as one of the greatest books about electoral politics in America," the Inquirer adds.

Politico's Jonathan Martin calls What It Takes, a "masterpiece."

"The reporting, the writing, the depth, the breadth — who could ever match this standard?" Martin asks. "And, a bit more jealously, who could ever garner this access? Just as a previous generation of political reporters looked longingly upon Theodore White's behind-the-scenes stuff in The Making of the President, my own has gazed with envy upon how close up Cramer got to the candidates, the families, the consultants."

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit


Marlon James Wins Man Booker Prize

James is the first Jamaican author to win the prestigious literary award, for his novel A Brief History of Seven Killings. It's based on a real 1976 assassination attempt on reggae star Bob Marley.
WAMU 88.5

Behind America's Seasonal Crush On Pumpkin

This year, a national shortage of the orange squash threatens to derail America's favorite seasonal obsession.

WAMU 88.5

Ta-Nehisi Coates On Race, Justice And Finding A Voice In Local D.C.

Few writers and public intellectuals command an audience like one currently following Ta-Nehisi Coates. But long before Coates' thoughts shaped nationwide conversations about race, justice and the black experience in America, he found his voice as a young writer in local D.C. and in the city where he grew up, Baltimore.


Twitter's Suspension of Sports Media Revives Debate Over Fair Use

Twitter is going after news media that share highlights of U.S. football games without sports organizations' permission. The move shines a spotlight on the notion of fair use of copyrighted content.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.