Daniel Okrent

From Academic Kids

Daniel Okrent (born 1948) is an American writer, editor and baseball fan. He is best known for having served as the first public editor of the New York Times newspaper.

Okrent graduated in 1969 from the University of Michigan. Most of his career has been spent as an editor, at publishers including Alfred A. Knopf, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Esquire Magazine, New England Monthly, Life Magazine, and TIME, Inc.

Okrent is famous for being the inventor of Rotisserie League Baseball, the best-known form of fantasy baseball, so named because the group of friends he pitched the idea to in 1979 were meeting with him at La RotissÚrie Franšaise restaurant in New York City. Okrent's team in the Rotisserie League is called the "Okrent Fenokees", a pun on the Okefenokee Swamp.

In 1994, Okrent was filmed for his in-depth knowledge of baseball history for the Ken Burns' documentary Baseball. His book Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center (Viking, 2003) was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in history.

In October, 2003, Okrent was named public editor for The New York Times, serving much of the same function as an ombudsman. He is known for coining "Okrent's Law" during his tenure as a comment he made about his new job. It states: "The pursuit of balance can create imbalance because sometimes something is true," referring to the phenomenon of the press providing legitimacy to fringe or minority viewpoints.

Bibliography

  • The Ultimate Baseball Book (1979)
  • Nine Innings: The Anatomy of Baseball as Seen Through the Playing of a Single Game (1983)
  • Great Fortune: The Epic of Rockefeller Center (2003)

Filmography

External links

  • NY Times bio (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/weekinreview/okrent-bio.html)
  • Fathom overview (http://www.fathom.com/contributors/1060.html)
  • Editorial on Okrent (http://thecommonills.blogspot.com/2004/12/daniel-okrent-step-down.html)
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