Billy Baker is a feature writer for The Boston Globe.
He reports to the metro desk, and while he does not have a beat, he might have a theme. Recently, he has written about the accents of the Boston mayors, his role as a mentor to two remarkable brothers (a story that went viral after he did a Twitter narrative about the younger brother being accepted to Yale), the man with the world’s largest biceps, the love affair between a woman and a bear, the rivalry between Santas with real beards and Santas with fake beards, extreme weather tourists, the quest for the one-ton pumpkin, how much is too much to charge for curse removal, the last days of the word “tonic,” why so many people drop their iPhones in the toilet, “trail magic” on the Appalachian Trail, Scumbag Steve, extreme leaf-peeping, making toys for elephants, the very slow search for an escaped turtle, the town that tried to ban swearing, the hottest couple in hand modeling, the capture of Whitey Bulger, the history of the word “gonzo,” what happens to a small town when someone wins Powerball, why there are so many crappy bicycles at MIT, a class for people who are trying to lose their Boston accent, taking a California road trip in a vintage Volkswagen bus, going through the boxes in Errol Morris’ basement, naked lobsters, why Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket hate each other, how an academic humor conference nearly ruined his sense of humor, the trouble Harvard grads have admitting they went to Harvard, extreme couponers and the Great Toilet Paper Rush, the headache of having a backyard rink, the longest joke ever written, a proposal to require cats to be on a leash, the case of the missing pedicab, the problem with the handicap symbol, iPad scalpers, watching Dana White lose a half-million dollars in 40 minutes, the joke that may get Detroit a RoboCop statue, Miss Ice-O-Rama, the science and psychology of waiting in line, the Mayflower’s nose job, how he started a fight between two guys who get celebrity signatures tattooed on their bodies because he tried to profile one of them, corn mazes, Boston [Expletive] Dawna, and a bunch of stories that involve Southie. He also went on NPR and made fun of the “NPR voice,” and covered the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in London because why not.
Prior to joining the staff of the newspaper, he was a freelance journalist whose work appeared regularly in The Boston Globe Magazine and Boston Magazine. For a couple years, he wrote a weekly profile for the Globe called “Meeting the Minds,” which featured some of New England’s premier thinkers. Baker was also the creator of the Meme Team for AOL News and, back in the day, the host of “Fishing with Billy” in the Danville (Va.) Register & Bee. His work has appeared in a lot of places you have heard of and many you have not.
He holds a master’s degree from the Columbia Journalism School and a bachelor’s degree from Tulane University, and is a graduate of Boston Latin School. He teaches feature writing and profile writing in the graduate journalism program at Harvard University’s extension school.
Baker was born and raised in South Boston, Massachusetts, and married a girl from South Boston, Virginia. He lives on Cape Ann with his wife, Lori, the former Tetris world record holder; their little boys, Charlie and Jake; and their sweet old dog, Gonzo.
He is at work on a book about jugglers.
Billy Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can follow him on Twitter @billy_baker