|Dorothy Baker was born Dorothy Dodds on April 21, 1907 in Missoula, Montana and raised in California. Baker attended University of California, Los Angeles, from which she graduated in 1929. This is where she met her future husband, the poet Howard Baker whom she married in 1930. |
In 1938 she wrote her first novel, YOUNG MAN WITH A HORN, based on the life of notable jazz cornet player, Bix Beiderbecke. The novel was a success and she won a Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship. In 1950, it was made into a movie of the same name with Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, and Doris Day. Baker received a Guggenheim Fellowship for her next book in 1942.
Her next book was TRIO. She and her husband made it into a play which was quickly taken off Broadway because of its lesbian theme after a protest by a group of Protestant clergymen.
She returned to writing novels and published OUR GIFTED SON in 1948. She followed it with CASSANDRA AT THE WEDDING in 1962. The subject of the novel is identical twin sisters who are especially close. Baker's husband said that the book was based on the couple's own two daughters.
On June 17, 1968, Baker died of cancer at the age of 61 in Terra Bella, California.