Speed Reads

it's never too late

This World War II veteran decided to become a children's book author at age 95

Sam Baker first discovered his love of reading in the ninth grade, but it wasn't until he turned 95 that he realized how much he enjoyed writing books, too.

Baker, now 99, lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. He served in the Marines from 1942 to 1947, and later embarked on a career with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. When his children were young, he read to them every day, and would make up his own stories about a worm named Herman. When Baker decided to start writing four years ago, his son encouraged him to turn his Herman tales into a book.

He did just that, publishing The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm in 2018. Baker was then inspired to write about the pet rat he had as a child, and penned his second book, Oscar the Mouse, in 2020. He told Fox News Digital he changed the rat to a mouse because "people accept mice over rats." Baker is continuing Oscar's story in a third book he expects will be published later this year.

Baker felt compelled to write for kids because "reading is a foundation for all other learning," he said. "If you don't know how to read, you're going to have a hard time learning." For Baker, being an author isn't about the fame or paychecks. "I don't want to make money," he told Fox News Digital. "I want children to learn to read."