Roger Angell

Last updated
Roger Angell
Roger Angell March 2015.jpg
Angell in March 2015
Born (1920-09-19) September 19, 1920 (age 100)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater Harvard University
Genre Sports journalism
Notable awards PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing (2011)
J. G. Taylor Spink Award (2014)
SpouseEvelyn Baker (deceased) [1]
Carol Rogge Angell (deceased)
Margaret Moorman
ChildrenCallie, Alice, and John Henry [2]
Relatives Katharine Sergeant Angell White (mother)
E. B. White (stepfather)
Joel White (half-brother)

Roger Angell (born September 19, 1920) is an American essayist known for his writing on sports, especially baseball. He has been a regular contributor to The New Yorker and was its chief fiction editor for many years. [3] He has written numerous works of fiction, non-fiction, and criticism, and for many years wrote an annual Christmas poem for The New Yorker. [3]


He received a number of awards for his writing, including the George Polk Award for Commentary in 1980, [4] the Kenyon Review Award for Literary Achievement in 2005 along with Umberto Eco, [5] and the inaugural PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing in 2011.

He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2007 [6] and is a long-time ex-officio member of the council of the Authors Guild. [4]

Angell was inducted into the Baseball Reliquary's Shrine of the Eternals in 2010. [7]

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

Early life and education

Angell is the son of Katharine Sergeant Angell White, The New Yorker’s first fiction editor, and the stepson of renowned essayist E. B. White, but was raised for the most part by his father, Ernest Angell, an attorney who became head of the American Civil Liberties Union. [8] [9] [10]

Angell is a 1938 graduate of the Pomfret School and attended Harvard University. [11] He served in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II.


Angell's earliest published works were pieces of short fiction and personal narratives. Several of these pieces were collected in The Stone Arbor and Other Stories (1960) and A Day in the Life of Roger Angell (1970).

In 1948, Angell was employed at Holiday Magazine, a travel magazine that featured literary writers. [12]

He first contributed to The New Yorker in March 1944 and continued to contribute into 2020.

He first wrote professionally about baseball in 1962, when William Shawn, editor of The New Yorker, had him travel to Florida to write about spring training. [3] [10] His first two baseball collections were The Summer Game (1972) and Five Seasons: A Baseball Companion (1977).

Angell has been called the "Poet Laureate of baseball" but dislikes the term. [3] [10] In a review of Once More Around the Park for the Journal of Sport History, Richard C. Crepeau wrote that "Gone for Good", Angell's essay on the career of Steve Blass, [lower-alpha 1] "may be the best piece that anyone has ever written on baseball or any other sport". [14] Another essay of Angell, "The Web of the Game", about the epic pitchers' duel between future major-leaguers Ron Darling and Frank Viola in the 1981 NCAA baseball tournament, was called "perhaps the greatest baseball essay ever penned" by ESPN journalist Ryan McGee in 2021. [15] Angell contributed commentary to the Ken Burns series Baseball , in 1994.

Personal life

Angell has three children: Callie, Alice, and John Henry. He had Alice and Callie with his first wife Evelyn, [1] and John Henry with Carol. Callie Angell, who was an authority on the films of Andy Warhol, committed suicide on May 5, 2010, in Manhattan, where she worked as a curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art; she was 62. In a 2014 essay, Angell mentioned her death – "the oceanic force and mystery of that event" – and his struggle to comprehend that "a beautiful daughter of mine, my oldest child, had ended her life." [16] Alice Angell lived in Portland, Maine and died from cancer on February 2, 2019, [17] and John Henry Angell lives in Portland, Oregon. [2]

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. [18] In 2014, he married Margaret Moorman, a writer and teacher, as noted in the Ellsworth American newspaper. On September 19, 2020, Angell turned 100. [19]


In 2019, University of Nebraska Press published No Place I Would Rather Be: Roger Angell and a Life in Baseball Writing, a book about Angell's career written by Joe Bonomo.


  1. Originally published as "Down the Drain" [13]

Related Research Articles

E. B. White American writer

Elwyn Brooks White was an American writer. He was the author of several highly popular books for children, including Stuart Little (1945), Charlotte's Web (1952), and The Trumpet of the Swan (1970). In a 2012 survey of School Library Journal readers, Charlotte's Web came in first in their poll of the top one hundred children's novels. In addition, he was a writer and contributing editor to The New Yorker magazine, and also a co-author of the English language style guide The Elements of Style.

John Updike American novelist, poet, short story writer, art critic, and literary critic

John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet, short-story writer, art critic, and literary critic. One of only four writers to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once, Updike published more than twenty novels, more than a dozen short-story collections, as well as poetry, art and literary criticism and children's books during his career.

Umberto Eco Italian semiotician, philosopher, and writer (1932–2016)

Umberto Eco was an Italian medievalist, philosopher, semiotician, cultural critic, political and social commentator, and novelist. In English, he is best known for his popular 1980 novel The Name of the Rose, a historical mystery combining semiotics in fiction with biblical analysis, medieval studies, and literary theory, and Foucault's Pendulum, his 1988 novel which touches on similar themes.

Jonathan Franzen American writer

Jonathan Earl Franzen is an American novelist and essayist. His 2001 novel The Corrections, a sprawling, satirical family drama, drew widespread critical acclaim, earned Franzen a National Book Award, was a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist, earned a James Tait Black Memorial Prize and was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. His novel Freedom (2010) garnered similar praise and led to an appearance on the cover of Time magazine alongside the headline "Great American Novelist".

E. L. Doctorow Novelist, editor, professor

Edgar Lawrence Doctorow was an American novelist, editor, and professor, best known internationally for his works of historical fiction.

Joyce Carol Oates American author

Joyce Carol Oates is an American writer. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published 58 novels, a number of plays and novellas, and many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction. Her novels Black Water (1992), What I Lived For (1994), and Blonde (2000) and short story collections The Wheel of Love (1970) and Lovely, Dark, Deep: Stories (2014) were each finalists for the Pulitzer Prize. She has won many awards for her writing, including the National Book Award, for her novel them (1969), two O. Henry Awards, the National Humanities Medal, and the Jerusalem Prize (2019).

Colson Whitehead American novelist

Arch Colson Chipp Whitehead is an American novelist. He is the author of seven novels, including his 1999 debut work, The Intuitionist, and The Underground Railroad (2016), for which he won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction; he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction again in 2020 for The Nickel Boys. He has also published two books of non-fiction. In 2002, he received a MacArthur Fellowship.

Veronica Geng was an American editor and writer.

<i>The Kenyon Review</i> Academic journal

The Kenyon Review is a literary magazine based in Gambier, Ohio, US, home of Kenyon College. The Review was founded in 1939 by John Crowe Ransom, critic and professor of English at Kenyon College, who served as its editor until 1959. The Review has published early works by generations of important writers, including Robert Penn Warren, Ford Madox Ford, Robert Lowell, Delmore Schwartz, Flannery O'Connor, Boris Pasternak, Bertolt Brecht, Peter Taylor, Dylan Thomas, Anthony Hecht, Maya Angelou, Rita Dove, Derek Walcott, Thomas Pynchon, Don Delillo, Woody Allen, Louise Erdrich, William Empson, Linda Gregg, Mark Van Doren, Kenneth Burke, and Ha Jin.

George Saunders American writer of short stories and other literature

George Saunders is an American writer of short stories, essays, novellas, children's books, and novels. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, McSweeney's, and GQ. He also contributed a weekly column, American Psyche, to the weekend magazine of The Guardian between 2006 and 2008.

Katharine Sergeant Angell White writer and editor

Katharine Sergeant Angell White was a writer and the fiction editor for The New Yorker magazine from 1925 to 1960. In her obituary, printed in The New Yorker in 1977, William Shawn wrote, "More than any other editor except Harold Ross himself, Katharine White gave The New Yorker its shape, and set it on its course."

Akhil Sharma is an Indian-American author and professor of creative writing. His first published novel An Obedient Father won the 2001 Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award. His second, Family Life, won the 2015 Folio Prize and 2016 International Dublin Literary Award.

Helen Barolini American writer, editor, and translator

Helen Barolini is an American writer, editor, and translator. As a second-generation Italian American, Barolini often writes on issues of Italian-American identity. Among her notable works are Umbertina (1979), a novel which tells the story of four generations of women in one Italian-American family; and an anthology, The Dream Book: An Anthology of Writings by Italian American Women (1985), which called attention to an emerging, and previously unnoticed, class of writers.

Robie Macauley

Robie Mayhew Macauley was an American editor, novelist and critic whose literary career spanned more than 50 years.

Rivka Galchen Canadian-American writer (born 1976)

Rivka Galchen is a Canadian-American writer. Her first novel, Atmospheric Disturbances, was published in 2008 and was awarded the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing.

Roger Rosenblatt American writer (born 1940)

Roger Rosenblatt is an American memoirist, essayist, and novelist. He was a long-time essayist for Time magazine and PBS NewsHour. He is currently the Distinguished Professor of English and Writing at Stony Brook University.

Joe Bonomo is an American essayist and rock and roll writer.

Alice Mattison is an American novelist and short story writer.

Chinelo Okparanta

Chinelo Okparanta is a Nigerian-American novelist and short-story writer. She was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, where she was raised until the age of 10, when she emigrated to the United States with her family.

Matthew Minicucci American writer and poet (born 1981)

Matthew Minicucci is an American writer and poet. His first full-length collection, Translation, won the 2015 Wick Poetry Prize, and his second collection, Small Gods, won the 2019 Stafford/Hall Oregon Book Award in Poetry. Having received numerous fellowships and residencies, including with the National Park Service, the C. Hamilton Bailey Oregon Literary Fellowship, the Stanley P. Young Fellowship in Poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and the James Merrill House, Minicucci was named the 2019 Dartmouth College Poet-in-Residence at the Frost Place.


  1. 1 2 Evelyn Baker Nelson obituary, New York Times, Nov. 25, 1997
  2. 1 2 Koppel, Niko (10 May 2010). "Callie Angell, Authority on Warhol Films, Dies at 62". New York Times.
  3. 1 2 3 4 Kettmann, Steve (29 August 2000). "Roger Angell". . Archived from the original on 13 January 2009.
  4. 1 2 "Roger Angell". Contributor Biography. The New Yorker.
  5. "Roger Angell and Umberto Eco". The Kenyon Review. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  6. "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 18 April 2011.
  7. "Shrine of the Eternals – Inductees". Baseball Reliquary. Retrieved 2019-08-14.
  8. "Roger Angell as lively as ever at age 85". Sports Illustrated. 17 May 2006.
  9. Ulin, David L. (15 November 2012). "Roger Angell on what the dead don't know". Los Angeles Times .
  10. 1 2 3 Smith, Chris (May 21, 2006). "Influences: Roger Angell". New York Magazine .
  11. Orodenker, Richard (1996). "Twentieth-Century American Sportswriters". Dictionary of Literary Biography. 171. Detroit: Gale. p. 5. ISBN   0-8103-9934-2 via Google Books.
  12. Callahan, Michael (May 2013). "The Visual and Writerly Genius of Holiday Magazine". Vanity Fair. Retrieved 2018-05-29.
  13. Roger Angell (June 23, 1975). "Down the Drain" . The New Yorker. New York: The New Yorker Magazine, Inc. pp. 42–59. Retrieved February 9, 2021.
  14. Crepeau, Richard C. "Review of Once More Around the Park" (PDF). Journal of Sport History. Vol. 29 no. 3. pp. 510–12.
  15. McGee, Ryan (May 21, 2021). "Ron Darling, Frank Viola and NCAA baseball's greatest game ever, 40 years on". Retrieved May 24, 2021.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. Angell, Roger (24 February 2014). "This Old Man". The New Yorker. ISSN   0028-792X . Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  17. "Alice Angell". Obituaries. Press Herald.
  18. "Paid Notice: Deaths, Angell, Carol Rogge". New York Times. 14 April 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  19. Betsy Morais (September 18, 2020). "Happy Hundredth, Roger Angell" . Retrieved September 19, 2020.