Why you know him: He’s the senior correspondent on E! News and the author of seven books, one of which is the inspiration for the upcoming movie “Late Bloomer.”
Career: After graduating from Colgate University in 1992 with a geology degree, Baker worked for a year as an assistant at ABC News in Washington, D.C. He then enrolled in Columbia University’s journalism program, earned his master’s degree in 1994, and went on to an internship with The Buffalo News and a full-time job reporting in Newport News, Va. In 1996 he moved to California and spent four years writing for People magazine. He joined Us Weekly in 2000 and spent the next eight years as a writer and editor before switching to broadcast with E!
Residence: Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Family: Wife, Brooke Baker; son Jackson, 13; daughter Chloe, turning 12 on July 2
WNY Roots: Baker grew up in the Hamburg-Blasdell-Woodlawn area and graduated from Frontier High School in 1988. His father, Larry, died in 1995; his mother, Marcia Seiflein, still lives in Hamburg, as does the youngest of his five brothers, Kris, a well-known hockey journalist who specializes in covering Sabres prospects.
Baker’s books: He’s written two memoirs, “Man Made” and “They Don’t Play Hockey in Heaven,” a geopolitical satire called “Hollywood Hussein,” a self-help book with figure skater Scott Hamilton, and three Hollywood-based young-adult novels (with a fourth to come). Baker is currently working on a memoir about his search for spirituality in Hollywood.
David Boreanaz, Buffalo-born actor and Baker’s “hockey dad” friend (their sons both play): “He’s a great guy. He’s very kind. He’s extremely approachable. And he’s also very forthcoming too, and that’s hard to find. He’s not going to (do) something to better his half as far as what he does for a living. I just don’t see that from him, and that’s very unique in Hollywood.”
TV and radio host Ryan Seacrest: “Ken brings great energy and humor to his reporting, and also balances that charm with solid journalism skill He covers entertainment news yet he stays away from the salacious and absurd, and instead does his job with integrity so people trust him – including me.”
Baker on Buffalo vs. California: “It’s humbling to be from a place like Buffalo, because it’s not Malibu. It’s not perfect. But isn’t that a good metaphor for life, really? Life’s not perfect. I’ve lived on the beach in California and had times where I felt miserable. And I’ve been on an ice rink in Cheektowaga, New York, and been the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. So you tell me: Life, really, it’s lived on the inside… I do miss a lot of the normalcy of Buffalo.”
Story topics: Ken Baker