Billy Baker is a feature writer for The Boston Globe.
He reports to the narrative editor, and while he does not have a beat, he might have a theme.
Recently, he has written about a father who started a drug company to save his son from an incurable cancer, the deadliest day in the history of Lake Winnipesaukee, and how he was becoming a middle-aged loser (which led to a very surreal couple weeks as America’s #1 loser, and a strange hour-long interview on NPR where he did his best to try to explain himself to Tom Ashbrook and the Surgeon General of the United States). And then there were the ones about becoming a mentor to two Vietnamese-American teenage brothers after writing a story about them, hiking Mt. Washington with a 90-year-old man, the accents of the Boston mayors, the love affair between a woman and a bear, why an indoor marathon is a terrible idea, the rivalry between Santas with real beards and Santas with fake beards, the quest for the one-ton pumpkin, how much is too much to charge for curse removal, the man with the world’s largest biceps, 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, people who are trying to get rid of their Boston accent, the boxes in Errol Morris’ basement filled with his notes about spontaneous human combustion, how to get lobsters naked, why Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket hate each other, the trouble Harvard grads have admitting they went to Harvard, extreme couponers and the Great Toilet Paper Rush, the longest joke ever written, a leash law for cats, the case of the missing pedicab, the problem with the handicap symbol, watching Dana White lose a half-million dollars in 40 minutes, the science and psychology of waiting in line, the Mayflower’s nose job, how he accidentally started a fight between two guys who get celebrity autographs tattooed on their bodies, and a whole bunch of stories involving Southie and space-savers.
He is soon to be the host of the Globe’s first-ever podcast, and also does an occasional video series with his dad that is strangely popular.
Prior to joining the staff of the Globe in 2010, Baker was a freelance journalist whose work appeared in a lot of places you have heard of and many you have not. Way back in the day, he was the host of “Fishing with Billy” in the Danville (Va.) Register & Bee.
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. For several years, he taught 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 wound up marrying a girl from South Boston, Virginia, after he traveled there to write an article about why the hell there’s a South Boston in Virginia. He and Lori now live on Cape Ann with their sons, Charlie and Jake. It’s worth mentioning that his wife once held the world record for Tetris.
He once spent a loooong time trying to write a book about a war that was going on in the juggling world. He will get back to it someday. Maybe even tomorrow.
Billy Baker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You could also call him if you have his number.