Popular Times Writer Nicholas Kristof Leaves Paper Ahead of Possible Run for Oregon Governor

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NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 25: Alan Jope, Carolyn Everson, Ornella Barra and Nicholas Kristof attend WE Day UN 2019 at Barclays Center on September 25, 2019 in New York City.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 25: Alan Jope, Carolyn Everson, Ornella Barra and Nicholas Kristof attend WE Day UN 2019 at Barclays Center on September 25, 2019 in New York City.

Craig Barritt/Getty

Journalist Nicholas Kristof is leaving The New York Times after 37 years to pursue a likely run for governor of Oregon.

Though he hasn't officially announced himself as a candidate, Kristof filed paperwork to establish a the "Nick for Oregon" candidate committee with Oregon's secretary of state.

The Times' opinion editor, Kathleen Kingsbury, announced Kristof's departure in an email sent to staff on Thursday, the paper reports. Kristof, 62, has worked as a reporter, an associate managing editor and most recently as a columnist, earning two Pulitzer Prizes along the way.

Kingsbury praised Kristof in her email for "elevating the journalistic form to a new height of public service with a mix of incisive reporting, profound empathy and a determination to bear witness to those struggling and suffering across the globe," the Times reports.

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"This has been my dream job, even with malaria, a plane crash in Congo and periodic arrests abroad for committing journalism," Kristof said in a statement. "Yet here I am, resigning — very reluctantly."

In his filing, Kristof lists his occupation as "journalist, author, farmer," and says that he is self-employed.

Kristoff grew up on a 73-acre farm near Yamhill, Oregon, that produced cherries and raised sheep. According to an Oregonian profile, Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, transitioned the family farm to grow grapes for wine and apples for cider.

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WuDunn and Kristof have written several books together and shared a Pulitzer in 1990 (his first) for their reporting on the student-led protests in Tiananmen Square and the brutal crackdown by China.

"I've gotten to know presidents and tyrants, Nobel laureates and warlords, while visiting 160 countries," Kristof said in his statement. "And precisely because I have a great job, outstanding editors and the best readers, I may be an idiot to leave. But you all know how much I love Oregon, and how much I've been seared by the suffering of old friends there. So I've reluctantly concluded that I should try not only to expose problems but also see if I can fix them directly."

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