A 99-year-old World War II veteran, who embarked on a career as a children’s book author at the age of 95, hopes to publish his third book in 2022.
“Reading is a foundation for all other learning,” author Sam Baker, 99, recently told Fox News. “If you don’t know how to read, you’re going to have a hard time learning.” While the Scottsdale, Arizona, resident’s current mission is to help American youth further their literacy skills, long before Baker’s journey led him to a career as an author, it led him to the United States Marine Corps.
In 1942, just four months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a young Sam Baker enlisted in the Marine Corps, Fox News reported.
“During World War II, when I finally arrived on Guadalcanal and was assigned a platoon, I asked senior officers that I respected for advice: ‘Look after your men and when the time comes, your men will look after you,'” Baker recalled while speaking with Military Families magazine.
He served for over five years until the fall of 1947, according to Fox News. From there, he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and Geodetic Survey — which became the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) — where he worked for 30 years before retiring.
A few years ago, a 95-year-old Baker began writing his first book with some encouragement from his son, Military Families reported.
“When I purchased my first computer, my son called and said, ‘Dad, now that you have a computer, why don’t you write down the stories you told us when we were kids, for your granddaughter?'” Baker recalled while speaking with Military Families magazine.
“It was a perfect time and I wrote my first book,” he added. Baker wrote The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm, which was published in 2018, according to Fox News. In 2020, he published his second work, Oscar the Mouse, inspired by a pet rat he had as a child.
“She and I used to have a good rapport,” Baker told Fox News. “But my mother wouldn’t let me take her in the house, so I had to build a cage for her outside.”
He remembered his pet rat while writing The Silly Adventures of Petunia and Herman the Worm, which served as the basis for his second work, though he noted he changed the animal to a mouse in the book as “people accept mice over rats.”
Baker told Military Families magazine that he has a third book in the works.
“Book number three is on the way, and we hope to have it ready early- to mid-2022,” Baker said. “If my book can encourage children to become avid readers, I will feel that I have been a great success.”
The book will chronicle Oscar the Mouse’s latest adventures, according to Fox News.