Bob Herbert writes in his resignation letter: “I have been writing a column for 25 years, nearly 18 at The New York Times. The deadlines and demands were a useful discipline but for some time now I have grown eager to move beyond the constriction of the column format, with its rigid 800-word limit, in favor of broader and more versatile efforts.” He says he’s writing a book about “some of the great challenges facing the United States.” Two memos after the jump.
Times editorial page editor Andrew Rosenthal’s memo:
To the Times Staff:
It is with great regret that we have accepted Bob Herbert’s resignation from The Times.
His columns over the years have been extraordinary, from his crucial series on the false arrests and imprisonment of dozens of innocent people in Tulia, Texas, to his profiles of soldiers wounded in combat, to his recent work on the individuals and families devastated by the Great Recession and its aftermath.
He was often called “the conscience of The Times” and will take his place in the long, proud history of Times op-ed columnists.
We will miss him and wish him the best in his new endeavors.
I have been writing a column for 25 years, nearly 18 at The New York Times. The deadlines and demands were a useful discipline but for some time now I have grown eager to move beyond the constriction of the column format, with its rigid 800-word limit, in favor of broader and more versatile efforts. So I am leaving The New York Times and the rewards and rigors of daily journalism with the intent of writing more expansively and more aggressively about the injustices visited on working people, the poor and the many others in our society who find themselves on the wrong side of power.
I am writing a book called “Wounded Colossus” about some of the great challenges facing the United States and will be part of a new, soon-to-be-announced effort to help bolster progressive journalism in the cause of a more generous and just America.
My years at The Times have been wonderful and I will miss working for the greatest newspaper in the world. But sometimes a mission presents itself, and I could not look in the mirror if I did not respond.