Washington Post Editor in Chief Marty Baron, '76, gives a presentation at Coppee Hall on Monday, Mar. 17, 2014. Baron announced in a memo that he will retire on Feb. 28. (Courtesy Journalism Department)

BREAKING: Lehigh alumnus Marty Baron announces retirement from The Washington Post

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Marty Baron, ‘76, ‘76G, ‘14H, former editor in chief of The Brown and White and executive editor of The Washington Post, announced to his staff members in a memo he will retire on Feb. 28. 

“The experience has been deeply meaningful, enriched by colleagues who made me a better professional and a better person,” Baron said in the memo. “At age 66, I feel ready to move on.” 

He had told department head editors at the publication that he would stay through the 2020 election season, according to the memo. 

After his graduation from Lehigh, Baron started his journalism career at The Miami Herald in 1976 as a state reporter and eventually as a business writer. He started working for The Los Angeles Times in 1979 and served in various roles including business editor and assistant managing editor for page-one special reports. 

After 17 years in Los Angeles, he began working for The New York Times in 1996 for three years and became the associate managing editor for nighttime news.

Baron returned to The Miami Herald in 2000 and served as Executive Editor, where he notably covered Elián González’ return to Cuba and the 2000 Presidential Election. 

He then began working as an editor for The Boston Globe, where he stayed for approximately 11 years. 

At the Globe, the paper was awarded The Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 2003 for its investigative article on the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston. The story was later depicted in the Oscar-winning film “Spotlight.”  

Baron has spent the last eight years as the Executive Editor of The Washington Post

Since his graduation, Baron has returned to Lehigh multiple times. He gave the 146th commencement address in 2014, he came for a screening of “Spotlight” in 2016 and most recently returned to celebrate the 125 year anniversary of The Brown and White in 2019. 

Baron has left his mark on the journalism industry for the last 45 years. 

Under his leadership, newsrooms have won numerous Pulitzer Prizes and he was the winner of the International Center For Journalists Founders Award For Excellence in Journalism in 2019

“Serving the public with the best journalism comes from working closely together,” Baron said. “That spirit of collaboration and good will is necessary for success. So is a shared ethic: We start with more questions than answers, inclined more to curiosity and inquiry than to certitude. We always have more to learn. We must listen generously to all. We owe the public rigorous, thorough and honorable reporting and then an honest, unflinching account of what we discover.” 

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2 Comments

  1. Editing point—Your headline should read: “BREAKING: Lehigh alumnus Marty Baron announces retirement from the Washington Post.” A singular male graduate of an academic institution would be an “alumnus.” The word “alumni” is the plural form of “alumnus,” and refers to a group of all male, or male and female, graduates of an academic institution. Similarly, the word “alumnae” refers to a group of all female graduates of an academic institution. Referring to Marty Baron, a single male graduate of Lehigh, as an “alumni” would be grammatically incorrect.

    Unrelated, Marty Baron should be considered by the Presidential Search Committee to succeed President Simon.

  2. Enough Already on

    I find some of Baron’s words that you quote to be laughable pompous nonsense. Namely:

    “We owe the public rigorous, thorough and honorable reporting and then an honest, unflinching account of what we discover.”

    The Washington Post, especially in the last several years, has been filled with patently dishonest and false stories. If Baron is indeed responsible for these, he should hang his head in shame.

    Perhaps Lehigh should consider rescinding the honorary degree it gave him in 2014.

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