Peter Baker (journalist)

American journalist

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Peter Baker
Baker at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2017
Baker at the LBJ Presidential Library in 2017
BornPeter Eleftherios Baker
(1967-07-02) July 2, 1967 (age 54)
Falls Church, Virginia, U.S.
Alma materOberlin College
Notable works
  • The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton
  • Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution
  • Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House
(m. 2000)

Peter Eleftherios Baker (born July 2, 1967) is an American journalist and author. He is the chief White House correspondent for The New York Times and a political analyst for MSNBC.[1] He covers President Joe Biden, the fifth president he has covered after Donald Trump, Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

After being briefly assigned as Jerusalem bureau chief for the Times, Baker was, in December 2016, reassigned back to the White House beat for the incoming Trump administration.[2]

Early life and education

Baker was born in 1967, the son of Linda Gross (later Sinrod) and E. P. Baker.[3][4] His father was a lawyer and his mother a computer programmer.[3] He attended Oberlin College.[5]


Prior to joining The New York Times in 2008, Baker was a reporter for 20 years at The Washington Post, where he covered the White House during the presidencies of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.[6] During his first tour at the White House, Baker co-authored the paper's first story about the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and served as the paper's lead writer during the subsequent impeachment battle. He subsequently published his first book, The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton through Scribner, a New York Times bestseller based on his coverage of the impeachment proceedings in Congress. During his next White House assignment, he covered the travails of Bush's second term, from the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina to Supreme Court nomination fights and the economy.

In between stints at the White House, Baker and his wife, Susan Glasser, spent four years as Moscow bureau chiefs, chronicling the rise of Vladimir Putin, the rollback of Russian democracy, the Second Chechen War and the terrorist attack on a theater in Moscow and the Beslan school hostage crisis. Baker also covered the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.[7] He was the first American newspaper journalist to report from rebel-held northern Afghanistan after Sept. 11, 2001, and he spent the next eight months covering the overthrow of the Taliban and the emergence of a new government. He later spent six months in the Middle East, reporting from inside Saddam Hussein's Iraq and around the region before embedding with the U.S. Marines as they drove toward Baghdad.[8]

In May 2005, Baker published his second book, Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution through Scribner, with Susan Glasser, a detailed accounting of Vladimir Putin's consolidation of power during his first term as President of Russia. It was later named one of the Best Books of 2005 by The Washington Post Book World. While serving as White House correspondent for The Washington Post, he won the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency in 2007 for his "exceptionally trenchant appraisal" of the achievements and shortfalls of the second year of President George W. Bush's second term in office.[9] After joining The New York Times, he received the 2011 Aldo Beckman Memorial Award for his "remarkable run" of detailed coverage of the second year of President Obama's first term.[10] He again won the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on the Presidency and the Aldo Beckman Memorial Award in 2015.[11]

In October 2013, Baker published his third book, Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House through Doubleday, a detailed narrative account of the two-term presidency of George W. Bush.[12] Shortly thereafter, it was listed as one of the 10 Best Books of 2013 by The New York Times Book Review.[13] In June 2017, he published his fourth book, Obama: The Call of History through New York Times/Callaway, a coffeetable volume about President Obama's two terms in office. In November 2017, it was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work - Biography/Autobiography.[14]

In October 2018, Baker published a book with Random House called Impeachment: An American History, along with Jon Meacham, Timothy Naftali and Jeffrey A. Engel. An updated and greatly expanded version of the Obama book will be published as a regular book in May 2019. He and Glasser also wrote a biography of former Secretary of State James A. Baker III published by Doubleday in 2020.

In addition to his work for MSNBC, Baker is a regular panelist on PBS's Washington Week.[15] A native of the Washington, D.C., area, Baker attended Oberlin College, where he worked as a reporter and editor for the student newspaper, The Oberlin Review. After college, he worked for The Washington Times for two years before joining The Washington Post in 1988 as a reporter covering Virginia news.


  • The Breach: Inside the Impeachment and Trial of William Jefferson Clinton. Simon & Schuster. 2000. ISBN 978-0-7432-1293-9.
  • Kremlin Rising: Vladimir Putin's Russia and the End of Revolution. Simon & Schuster. 2005. ISBN 978-0-7432-8179-9.
  • Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House. Knopf Doubleday. 2013. ISBN 978-0-385-53692-9.
  • Obama: The Call of History. Harry N. Abrams. 2017. ISBN 978-0-935-11290-0.[16]
  • Impeachment: An American History. Random House. 2018. ISBN 978-1984853783
  • Baker, Peter; Glasser, Susan (2020). The Man Who Ran Washington. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-54055-1.

Personal life

In 2000, he married Susan Glasser in a civil ceremony.[3] His wife has been a reporter and assistant managing editor at The Washington Post, the editor-in-chief of Foreign Policy magazine, the founding editor of Politico Magazine and the editor of Politico.[17][18][19] She is now a staff writer for The New Yorker and author of its Letter from Trump's Washington as well as a global affairs analyst for CNN. The couple lives in Washington, D.C. with their son, Theodore.


  1. ^ "Peter Baker". The New York Times. 2019-04-10. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  2. ^ "New York Times announces new White House team, including Peter Baker, Glenn Thrush". Politico. 2016-12-12. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  3. ^ a b "Weddings – Susan Glasser, Peter Baker". The New York Times. 2000-09-10. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  4. ^ "Meta Ann 'Meg' Snyder, 44, UM program directorMeta Ann..." 1998-10-10. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  5. ^ "A Conversation with Peter Baker '88 - Oberlin College". 2013-11-08. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  6. ^ Calderone, Michael (2008-05-11). "WaPo's Baker joins the NY Times". Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  7. ^ " Peter Baker". The Washington Post. 2016-08-05. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-08. Retrieved 2017-09-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Reporting on the Presidency Prize 2007 - Gerald R. Ford Foundation". 2007-06-01. Retrieved 2018-03-05.[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "White House Correspondents' Association Awards: 2011 WHCA Journalism Awards". 2011-05-08. Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  11. ^ "Reporting on the Presidency 2014 - Gerald R. Ford Foundation". 2015-06-01. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  12. ^ "Days of Fire by Peter Baker". 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  13. ^ "The 10 Best Books of 2013". The New York Times. December 4, 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2014.
  14. ^ "NAACP - Nominees Announced for 49th NAACP Image Awards". 2017-11-20. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  15. ^ "Peter Baker - Washington Week". 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2018-03-05.
  16. ^ "From candidate to president: Obama's call of history". PBS. Retrieved 28 July 2017.
  17. ^ "Will Peter Baker be NY Times next Jerusalem bureau chief? | Jewish Telegraphic Agency". 2015-11-19. Retrieved 2017-07-07.
  18. ^ "Susan Glasser named editor of Politico | Politico". 2014-09-18. Retrieved 2017-07-28.
  19. ^ "The Trump White House's War Within | Politico". 2017-07-24. Retrieved 2017-07-28.

External links

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