Last modified on December 8, 2020, at 23:23

Roger Angell

Roger Angell

(American author, senior fiction editor and eminent baseball essayist
Best known for The New Yorker magazine essay “This Old Man,” a book, "This Old Man: All in Pieces")

Born September 19, 1920
New York City, New York, U.S.
Spouse Evelyn Baker (deceased)

Carol Rogge Angell (deceased)
Margaret Moorman

Roger Angell, (born September 19, 1920) is an American author, senior fiction editor, and eminent baseball essayist in New York City, New York. Roger Angell is one of the handful of writers enshrined in Major League baseball's Hall of Fame. "The Summer Game", a New York Times best Seller, Angell's first book on the sport, changed baseball writing forever. Examining baseball's complex place in American psyche. Other notable books authored by Angell are "Five Seasons", "Late Innings: A Baseball Companion", "Season Ticket", "Let Me Finish", and "This Old Man: All in Pieces".

Angell has many awards for his writing, including the George Polk Award for Commentary in 1980, the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in 2005 along with Umberto Eco, and in 2011 Angell was awarded the inaugural PEN America/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing. This PEN America award is given to one living American or U.S.-based writer each year to celebrate their body of work.

Angell was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007 and is a long-time ex-officio member of the council of the Authors Guild.

Angell was named the 2014 recipient of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award by the Baseball Writers' Association of America on December 10, 2013.

Family and Education

Roger Angell is the son of the New Yorker's first fiction editor Katharine Sergeant Angell White, and the stepson of American author E. B. White. His father was Ernest Angell, an American lawyer and author who served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union for 19 years, from 1950 to 1969. Roger Angell's parents divorce in 1929, they were the parents of Roger and his older sister Nancy Angell (1916–1996), Nancy was the former head of the science department at Moravian Seminary for Girls.

Roger Angell was raised in the cultural shade of the New Yorker magazine’s various physical and metaphysical branches of philosophy. Angell watched Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig belt home runs in Yankee Stadium as a young kid while an avid fan of the game of baseball by the Great Depression era.

Angell is a 1938 graduate of the Pomfret School and attended Harvard University. Angell served in the The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF or AAF) during World War II.

Career highlights and notes

Roger Angell posses with his friend and New Yorker magazine cartoonist/artist Edward Koren at the opening of the Koren exhibition. Like Angell's contributions, this exhibition celebrated the career of Edward Koren as a long-standing contributor to The New Yorker.

In March 1944, Roger Angell sold a short story called “Three Ladies in the Morning” to The New Yorker, this was the very first story published in the magazine written by Angell. Angell's byline, which came at the end of the piece in those days, was “Cpl.

Holiday magazine, an American travel magazine with esteemed writer E. B. White. The magazine brought on board White's stepson, 27-year-old Roger Angell to write at the magazine in 1948. Angell, then was just planting the roots of his own publishing career.

Angell began as a fiction editor in 1956 joining the New Yorker Magazine as a fiction editor under William Maxwell. Angell held this post for almost four decades and presided over an excellent stable of contributors. Even the most famous New Yorker authors were not spared Angell’s microscopic examinations of their every sentence. Some luminaries had certain stories rejected. During this time as a fiction editor, Angell in the spring of 1962, walked into the office or his editor, William Shawn, to ask if The New Yorker could use a piece on baseball. It was then when Angell started writing about baseball at the New Yorker in 1962, the New York Mets first season. The New Yorker sent Angell to Florida to write about a spring training camp. Roger wrote a lot about baseball, but he was never actually a sportswriter. He never had a column and never followed a team. Yet, his writing earned him a spot in the baseball hall of fame.

No matter how he chose to portray himself, Angell was more than just a baseball Fan; Angell was the latest in a long line of gentleman New Yorker sports reporters that included Herbert Warren Wind, Audax Minor, and A.J. Liebling, who covered golf, the race track, and boxing, respectively.

Although Roger Angell has written over one hundred pieces on baseball in stories or essays and books, one of his favorites remains “The Web of the Game,” a story about the May 21, 1981, NCAA Regional Tournament game at Yale Field between Yale and St. John’s University.

In the early- and mid-1990s, Angell's longer print pieces got much shorter under the controversial editorship of Tina Brown, down from his customary 30-plus pages to approximately 10 pages.

Angell contributed commentary to American filmmaker Ken Burns PBS documentary miniseries titled "Baseball" in 1994.

Angell posted his first baseball piece to the New Yorker blog on October 17, 2008 and, with the exception of a magazine recap of the 2009 postseason, all of his baseball commentary now appears on the magazine's blog.

The morning of October 28, 2011, Major league baseball fans were treated to something special, when The New Yorker blog posted Angell's scorecard of the tremendous sixth game of the St. Louis Cardinals versus Texas Rangers World Series, in which the Rangers were twice one strike away from winning the Championship, with the Cardinals winning it all.

Personal life

Roger Angell's first marriage, to Evelyn Baker, resulted in daughters named Callie and Alice. With his second wife, Carol Rogge Angell, he had a son named John Henry.

Callie Angell, who was an authority on the films of Andy Warhol, committed suicide at the age of 62 on May 5, 2010, in Manhattan, where she worked as a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

A month before she committed suicide, Callie Angell did something she had done frequently since becoming curator of the Andy Warhol Film Project in 1991. She was introducing a program of recently restored Warhol-related films at New York University’s Orphan Film Symposium.

Callie Angell was particularly delighted about one small discovery. In Warhol's photographer crew, which included Barbara Rubin, there was footage of a brief shot of Warhol on a bus, reading a tabloid newspaper revealing the arrest of 52-year-old actress Hedy Lamarr, who had been caught shoplifting at a Los Angeles department store.

In a 2014 essay, Roger Angell mentioned Callie's death as "my oldest child, had ended her life, and the oceanic force and mystery of that event had not left full space for tears."

Alice Angell lived in Portland, Maine and died from cancer on February 2, 2019, and John Henry Angell lives in Portland, Oregon.

His second wife, Carol Rogge Angell, to whom he was married for 48 years, died on April 10, 2012, of metastatic breast cancer at the age of 73.

In 2014, Angell married Margaret Moorman, a writer and teacher, as noted in the Ellsworth American newspaper.

On September 19, 2020, Angell turned 100.

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