Baker earned a liberal arts degree from Colgate University and a master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
He began his journalism career as a news assistant for ABC News in the Washington bureau. He later worked as a reporter at the Daily Press in Newport News, Virginia.
In 1996, Baker became a Los Angeles-based correspondent for People magazine. In 1999, he became the magazine's Northwest correspondent, based in Northern California. Baker later was named West Coast Bureau Chief for Us Weekly as well as the West Coast Executive Editor and Editorial Director of Usmagazine.com. He went on to become Senior Correspondent for E! News as well as the host of E! Online's daily web show Live From E!.
Baker appears on Fox News Channel, The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC and HLN.
Baker has written numerous books. In 2001, Baker published Man Made: A Memoir of My Body which tells the story of his battle with a prolactinoma.
A film adaption of Baker’s memoir began production in Los Angeles and Bulgaria in August 2015, directed by Kevin Pollak. About the film, Baker has said: “It’s surreal looking at some of the rough cuts of the scenes. It’s like a parallel universe, this guy going through some really similar things."
Baker's second memoir, They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven: A Dream, a Team and My Comeback Season chronicled the season he spent as pro hockey's oldest rookie, published in 2003. Published in 2005, Hollywood Hussein is a satirical take on the capture of Saddam Hussein.
Baker also co-authored The Great Eight: How to Be Happy (even when you have every reason to be miserable) in 2009. In 2012, Baker published his first young adult novel, Fangirl, which tells the story of a fictional pop star who falls in love with a fan. In 2014, he published the novel How I Got Skinny, Famous and Fell Madly in Love.
Also in 2014, Baker contracted with Perseus Books Group's Running Press to write a series of novels called Deadline Diaries. The series of thrillers will tell the story of a teenage celebrity blogger working to uncover Hollywood mysteries. The first of the series, Finding Forever, was published in September 2015.
Of his inspiration for the Deadline Diaries series, Baker has said: “The idea for Deadline Diaries really sprung from me browsing the mystery-thriller section and realizing there are rarely ever any journalists as the hero. There are plenty of cops, private eyes, lawyers, and a lot of bloody vampires. ... I think a lot of the romanticism of the journalism profession that inspired me when I entered it in the early 1990s has been lost. A lot of the cynicism is deserved.”
Baker is a speaker at schools and community/charity events. He has hosted the LAPD Hollenbeck PAL Awards Gala. Baker is also a member of the Advisory Board of the NHL's Los Angeles Kings.
Baker played hockey at Colgate University from 1988 to 1992 and played on its ECAC Championship Team in 1990.
Baker also played professional hockey for the Bakersfield Condors and the Quad City Mallards after 10 years of not playing. He wrote a book about his experience, They Don't Play Hockey in Heaven (ISBN 1592286054).
Baker previously worked as a columnist for NHL.com, and coaches youth hockey.