Author Richard Ben Cramer Dies at 62

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ben Cramer died Monday at the age of 62. His book What it Takes became a classic tome about presidential campaigns.


Let's take a moment to remember the writer Richard Ben Cramer. He died Monday in Baltimore of complications from lung cancer at the age of 62.


Cramer's books include a 1,000-page work on the 1988 presidential campaign, called "What It Takes."

MONTAGNE: Though it was panned at first, it became essential reading for anyone learning about politics. He profiled candidates like Bob Dole, Michael Dukakis and George H.W. Bush.

INSKEEP: With rare depth and energy, Cramer tracked the lifelong struggles that drove one man to the White House and drove other candidates excruciatingly close before they came away with nothing. He wrote of the way a losing candidate is thrown back on himself and forced to find a way to go on.

It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

MONTAGNE: And I'm Renee Montagne.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from