Bill Keller’s announcement that he plans to leave The New York Times to join a news nonprofit is his second exit from The New York Times to make news — the first came when he stepped down as executive editor in 2011.
But what happened with his predecessors? Sixty-five is the mandatory age limit for Times executive editors, as mentioned in several stories in the Times. (Keller turned 65 last month.) Here’s what Keller’s predecessors did after leaving one of U.S. journalism’s top posts:
2001-2003: Howell Raines. Raines left the Times in 2003 after the Jayson Blair scandal. In 2006, he wrote a sequel to his memoir about fly fishing and life, “The One That Got Away.” In 2008, Raines became a media columnist for Condé Nast Portfolio, which closed in 2009. In 2010, he wrote a piece for The Washington Post asking “Why don’t honest journalists take on Roger Ailes and Fox News?”
1994-2001: Joseph Lelyveld. Lelyveld returned to the Times briefly in 2003, according to Thompson Reuters. In 2006 he wrote “Omaha Blues, A Memory Loop.” In 2011 Lelyveld wrote “Great Soul: Mahatma Gandhi and His Struggle with India.”
1986-1994: Max Frankel. In 2000, Frankel wrote “Times of My Life and My Life with the Times.” In 2004 he wrote “High Noon in the Cold War.” Frankel continues writing for the Times. In June 2013, he wrote an opinion piece about NSA spying entitled “Where Did Our ‘Inalienable Rights’ Go?”
1977-1986: A.M. Rosenthal. According to his 2006 obit in the Times, Rosenthal went on to write the “On My Mind” twice-weekly column for the 13 years. In the obituary, Robert McFadden wrote that from 2000 to 2004, Rosenthal wrote “an untitled weekly column for The Daily News that reflected his increasingly conservative convictions and continued until 2004.” He died at 84.