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'The New Yorker' writer and editor Roger Angell has died at 101


Roger Angell, the great New Yorker, writer and editor, has died at the age of 101. I last interviewed him when he wrote a book about aging called "This Old Man" at the age of 94. I took a cab to meet him that day in our New York bureau. Roger had walked more than 20 blocks there.

Roger wrote about hundreds of different things and people and was hired at The New Yorker when Dwight Eisenhower was president. But he knew he was most celebrated for his essays about baseball and wrote as a fan.

It is foolish and childish, on the face of it, to affiliate ourselves with anything so insignificant and patently contrived and commercially exploitative as a professional sports team, Roger Angell once wrote. What is left out of this calculation, it seems to me, is the business of caring. And so it seems possible that we've come to a time when it no longer matters so much what the caring is about, how frail or foolish is the object of that concern, as long as the feeling itself can be saved. Naivete - the infantile and ignoble joy that sends a grown man or woman to dancing in the middle of the night over the haphazardous flight of a distant ball - seems a small price to pay for such a gift.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Scott Simon is one of America's most admired writers and broadcasters. He is the host of Weekend Edition Saturday and is one of the hosts of NPR's morning news podcast Up First. He has reported from all fifty states, five continents, and ten wars, from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Afghanistan and Iraq. His books have chronicled character and characters, in war and peace, sports and art, tragedy and comedy.

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