“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.”