Mr. Bailey and Knebel’s final partnership was the melodramatic fiction “Convention” (1964), in which a presumptive Republican presidential nominee ignites a firestorm when he favors a limit on nuclear stockpiling. Critics dubbed the book “Seven Days in August.”
Charles Waldo Bailey II was born in Boston on April 28, 1929; his father was secretary to the corporation and board of overseers at Harvard University. He graduated in 1946 from the private Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire and in 1950 from Harvard University, where he wrote for the Crimson newspaper.
After college, he joined the Minneapolis Tribune and became a Washington correspondent in 1954 for Cowles publications, which included the Tribune and the now-defunct Look magazine.
He was the Tribune’s Washington bureau chief from 1966 to 1972 and subsequently spent a decade as the morning paper’s top editor through its merger with the afternoon Minneapolis Star. He then returned to Washington, where he served four years as an editor at National Public Radio. He moved to New Jersey from the District in summer 2011.
His wife of 60 years, the former Ann Bushnell, died in 2010. Survivors include two daughters, Victoria Bailey of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Sarah Bailey of West Hartford, Conn.; a sister; and two grandchildren.
His writing partner Knebel, suffering from cancer, committed suicide in 1993. Mr. Bailey wrote one novel alone, “The Land Was Ours” (1991), a multi-generational saga centered on a Midwestern newspaper.
He told the Los Angeles Times in 1992 that some of his most gratifying moments of his career were at NPR, where he worked with a series of hard-charging women reporters such as Cokie Roberts and Nina Totenberg.
“One of the things I enjoyed so much about supervising so many women at NPR was that they told you what they thought, how they felt and what they were angry about,” he said.
“There’s a premium in journalism in not revealing your feelings,” he added. “It’s a corollary of objectivity, the disinterested approach to the story we’re working on. But we all know we have feelings. Men just suppress them.”