editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal Matt Murray sent out the following Monday:
After one of the most famous journalistic races of the modern (or any) era, our own Jerry Seib has decided to withdraw from The Wall Street Journal.
Jerry may be a Washington Nationals fan, but he has been Journals Cal Ripken Jr. and it’s hard to imagine the place without his regular byline. He joined the Journal 45 years ago as a summer intern in Dallas, and during his career here he has spent 29 years as a weekly columnist, 12 as a Washington bureau chief (over two stints), six as an executive Washington editor and three as a Middle East correspondent. (where in 1987 he was famously kidnapped and held in an Iranian prison for four days).
Jerry has interviewed seven presidents, moderated three presidential debates, covered 18 national political conventions, written nearly 1,500 columns, authored two books, and represented the Journal thousands of times on television and at events. Since joining, the Journal has had seven editors, the Dow has gone from under 1,000 to nearly 36,000, and the U.S. population has grown by 50 percent. Jerry has written about and helped guide the coverage of many of the most significant national stories of our time, from the Gulf War to the Iraq War, from the presidential trial to the 2000 election, from the advent of the digital economy to its downfall. The Soviet Union and the emergence of China. Among his honors are the Merriman Smith Award for Coverage of the Presidency, the Aldo Beckman Award for Coverage of the White House, the Gerald R. Ford Foundation Prize, and a Gerald Loeb Lifetime Achievement Award. On 9/11, when the attack on the World Trade Center forced the evacuation of our newsroom in New York, he played a central role in directing the coverage from Washington and getting the newspaper out in difficult circumstances, and he owns a large portion of Pulitzer. The award was given to the Journal of Breaking News that year.
Most importantly, generations of readers have come to rely on Jerry’s byline for deep reporting and consistently informed and thoughtful judgment and honesty; in tumultuous times he has often acted as a barometer for navigating the landscape. His work ethic and dedication to the magazine is extraordinary. In addition to his talent and drive, thousands of colleagues have known Jerry as a sherpa, counselor, and one of the friendliest and most generous people who have ever walked through our doors. Over many decades in Washington, he has avoided becoming a captured creature in the capital and remained true to the roots and values of his beloved Kansas.
While Jerry and his wife, Barb, himself a former Journal reporter, will pursue new adventures after his official retirement date of May 13 – including spending more time with their adorable grandson – he will continue to work with Aaron Zitner about building our new voting regime, and plans to write occasionally for review. We will also have opportunities in the coming weeks to thank and celebrate him. For now I know that you are with me in paying tribute to Jerry Seib and expressing admiration for his accomplishments, gratitude for the example he has set, and our deepest devotion and respect.