Roger Angel, a famous baseball writer and managing writer who for over 70 years has helped identify The New YorkerThe cheerful wit and style of his essays, humorous works and editing are dead. He was 101 years old.
Angel died Friday of heart failure, reports The New Yorker.
“No one lives forever, but you will be forgiven if you think Roger made a good hit,” New Yorker Editor David Remnick wrote on Friday. “Like all of us, he endured pain, loss, and doubt, but usually kept in fear, always looking ahead; he continued to write, read, memorize new poems, establish new relationships. “
Heir and custodian The New YorkerIn the early days, Angel was the son of fiction editor-in-chief Catherine White and the stepson of longtime staff writer EB White. It was first published in a magazine when he was 20, during World War II, and still invested in his 90s, an incredibly fit and young man who loved tennis and martinis with vodka and considered his life “a sheltered privilege and a fascinating job, and shot with success. “
Angel lived well by the standards of his famous family. In the past, he has won the BBWAA Career Excellence Award, formerly the J.W. J. Taylor Spink, for his well-deserved contribution to baseball writing, an honor previously received by Red Smith, Ring Lardner and Damon Ranyon. He was the first award winner not to be a member of the organization that votes for it, the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Its editing alone was a lifelong achievement. Beginning in the 1950s, when he inherited a job (and office), the writers he worked with included John Updike, Ann Beatty, Donald Barthelm, and Bobby Ann Mason, some of whom experienced numerous rejections before enrolling to a special club New Yorker authors. Angel himself, unfortunately, admitted that even his work did not always succeed.
“Unlike his colleagues, he is very competitive,” Brendan Gil wrote of Angel in Here at the New Yorker, memoirs of 1975. “Any challenge, mental or physical, fascinates him.”
Angela New Yorker works have been collected in several books on baseball and in publications such as Stone gazebo and other stories and One day in the life of Roger Angel, a collection of his humor. He also edited Nothing but you: love stories from the New Yorker and for many years wrote an annual Christmas poem for a magazine. At age 93, he completed one of his most highly regarded essays, deeply personal This old manlaureate of the National Journal Award.
“I survived a few blows, but missed worse,” he wrote. “Pain and insults are bearable. My conversation may be full of holes and pauses, but I have learned to send a personal Apache scout forward in the next sentence, one that will be to see if there are any free names or verbs in the scenery above. If he sends a warning, I’ll pause meaningfully, well, until something else comes to mind. “
Angel has been married three times, most recently to Margaret Murman. He had three children.
Angel was born in New York City in 1920 to Catherine and Ernest Angel, a lawyer who became head of the American Civil Liberties Union. The New Yorker was founded five years later when Catherine Angel became an editor of fiction, and a young wit named Andy White (so E. B. White was known to his friends) created humorous works.
His parents were gifted and strong, apparently too strong. “What a marriage it was,” Roger Angel wrote Let me finish, a book of essays published in 2006, “filled with sex, glamor, and emotional murder that causes anxiety.” By 1929 his mother had married the softer White, and Angel remembered weekend visits to the apartment of his mother and her new husband, a place “full of laughs, smoking young writers and artists from The New Yorker».
In high school, he became so fascinated with literature and literary life that one Christmas he asked for a book of poems by AE Hausman, a top hat and a bottle of sherry. While in Hawaii during World War II, Angel edited Air Force magazine, and by 1944 had received his first authorial line in The New Yorker. He was identified as a corporal. Roger Angel, author of a short story Three ladies in the morningand his first words that appeared in the magazine were, “The downtown hotel restaurant was almost empty at 11:30 a.m..”
There were no signs, at least not open, of family rivalry. White encouraged the stepson to write for the magazine and even recommended it to him The New YorkerFounder ‘s Harold Ross, explaining that Angela “lacks practical experience, but he has the goods.” Angel, meanwhile, lovingly wrote about his stepfather. In 2005 New Yorker In the essay, he noted that they had been close for nearly 60 years, and recalled that the “sense of home and informal attachment” he received from White’s works was “even stronger than for other of his readers”.
Not everyone was fascinated by Angel or White Angel’s family ties The New Yorker. Former staff writer Renata Adler claimed that Angel “established a clear, superficially humorous war with the rest of the magazine.” Complaints about nepotism were unusual, and Tom Wolfe mocked his “cassette” in a magazine where his mother and stepfather were members of the statute. “I’m sure everything is in place,” Wolfe wrote.
Unlike White, known for children’s classics Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little, Angel never wrote a great novel. But he enjoyed loyal fans thanks to his humor and baseball essays, which put him in a pantheon both among professional sports journalists and with Updike, James Turber and other literary writers who work part-time. Like Updike, he didn’t change his style of prose for baseball, but demonstrated how well the game fits the mind’s life.
“Baseball is not life itself, although similarities continue to emerge,” wrote Angel La Vida, 1987 essay. “It’s probably a good idea to sort out these two issues, but old fans, if they’re like me, can’t help but notice how cunningly our game repeats a bigger schedule with its charming April optimism; merry June rough house; polishing, a serious, endless (probably) mid-summer affair; the September settlement … and then the sudden fall of autumn, when we want – almost demand – a long and brilliant last adventure in front of the curtain ”.
Angel started covering baseball in the early 1960s when The New Yorker sought to expand its readership. Over the following decades, he wrote accurate player profiles, ranging from Bob Gibson’s Hall of Fame to the late Pittsburgh Pirates star Steve Blass, and spoke on everything from manager Casey Stengel’s verbosity (“Walking Pantheon of Challenges”) to Derek’s Miracle. »). He was born a year before the New York Yankees won their first World Series, and his memories of baseball spanned from the heyday of Babe Ruth to 21st century stars such as Jetter, Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.