Russell Baker quotes
born August 14, 1925; American newspaper columnist, author of "Growing Up"
Life is always walking up to us and saying, "Come on in, the living's fine," and what do we
Back off and take its picture.
New York is the only city in the world where you can get run down on the sidewalk by a
A group of politicians deciding to dump a President because his morals are bad is like the
Mafia getting together to bump off the Godfather for not going to church on Sunday.
Don't try to make children grow up to be like you, or they may do it.
Is fuel efficiency really what we need most desperately? I say that what we really need is a
car that can be shot when it breaks down.
Life seemed to be an educator's practical joke in which you spent the first half learning and
the second half learning that everything you learned in the first half was wrong.
Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.
The Government cannot afford to have a country made up entirely of rich people, because
rich people pay so little tax that the Government would quickly go bankrupt. This is why
Government men always tell us that labor is man's noblest calling. Government needs labor to
pay its upkeep.
It seems to be a law in American life that whatever enriches us anywhere except in the
wallet inevitably becomes uneconomic.
People seem to enjoy things more when they know a lot of other people have been left out of
So there he is at last. Man on the moon. The poor magnificent bungler! He can't even get to
the office without undergoing the agonies of the damned, but give him a little metal, a few
chemicals, some wire and twenty or thirty billion dollars and, vroom! there he is, up on a rock
a quarter of a million miles up in the sky.
Russell Baker, 1969
Inanimate objects are classified scientifically into three major categories - those that don't
work, those that break down, and those that get lost.
The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.
In America nothing dies easier than tradition.
In America, it is sport that is the opiate of the masses.
An educated person is one who has learned that information almost always turns out to be at
best incomplete and very often false, misleading, fictitious, mendacious - just dead wrong.
Watergate left Washington a city ravaged by honesty.
A railroad station? That was sort of a primitive airport, only you didn't have to take a cab 20
miles out of town to reach it.
Usually, terrible things that are done with the excuse that progress requires them are not
really progress at all, but just terrible things.
The best thing about being President is that it gets you out of American life. I don't know
what the theory is behind this, but it is a fact. The first thing we do with a President is shunt
him off to a siding where nothing American can ever happen to him.