Kevin Baker was born in August 1958, in Englewood, New Jersey, and grew up in Rockport, Massachusetts, a small town on the North Shore. He graduated from Columbia University in New York City in 1980, and since then has earned his living as a writer and editor.
His first novel, Sometimes You See It Coming, based loosely on the life of Ty Cobb, but set in the modern day, was published in hardcover by Crown in 1993 and in paperback by HarperPaperbacks in the spring of 2003. Dreamland, part of Baker’s New York‚ City of Fire trilogy was published by HarperCollins in 1999, and in paperback the following year. Paradise Alley was published by HarperCollins in 2002, and the third and final volume of the trilogy, Strivers Row, which was published in February, 2006. Kevin was the chief historical researcher on Harold Evans’ best–selling history, The American Century, published by Knopf in 1999. He wrote the monthly “In the News” column for American Heritage magazine from 1998-2007, and has been published in The New York Times, The New Republic, Politico.com, New York magazine, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles Times, The Frankfurter Rundschau, and Harper’s magazine, among other publications. He is a 2017 Guggenheim Fellow for non-fiction.
He is married and lives in New York City.