The Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) joins the worldwide radiology community in mourning the loss of RSNA's immediate past-president Richard L. Baron, MD, who passed away suddenly on May 4.
Widely respected by colleagues across the globe as a diagnostic radiologist, educator, author, and researcher, Baron forged a lasting legacy at RSNA, serving in numerous leadership positions culminating in his RSNA presidency in 2016. The RSNA board of directors expressed deep sadness at the loss of their longtime colleague and friend.
"The board of directors is extremely sad to lose this important member of our RSNA family. He will be greatly missed," says Valerie P. Jackson, MD, chair of the RSNA board of directors. "Rich Baron was a leader in many areas of his life and radiology. He was an internationally respected abdominal imaging radiologist and an outstanding administrator. He was humble, kind-hearted, and always willing to mentor others."
Baron spent the latter part of his career at the University of Chicago (UC), serving as professor of radiology from 2002 until the time of his passing. He served as UC chair of the Department of Radiology from 2002 to 2011 and as dean for clinical practice from 2011 to 2013. At the University of Pittsburgh, he served as chair of the Department of Radiology from 1992 to 1999, and as founding president and CEO of the University of Pittsburgh Physicians from 1997 to 2002.
Baron joined the RSNA board of directors in 2008 and served as the board liaison for education and international affairs. In his RSNA 2016 President's Address, "Beyond Imaging: Ensuring Radiology Impact in Clinical Care and Research," Baron offered valuable insight on the future of the specialty he devoted his life to building.
Baron's research focused on diagnostic imaging of liver disease, and he served as an international authority on imaging in chronic liver disease and liver tumors. At RSNA 2016, Baron organized a special Liver Symposium where experts from across the globe met to discuss this critical area of research.
Throughout his career, Baron was dedicated to building bridges between radiologists across the globe. He worked closely with radiology associations around the world, building a roster of lifelong personal and professional relationships along the way.
Among his many accolades, Baron received the Medal of Honor and honorary membership in the French Radiological Society in 2015, the Gold Medal of the Asian Oceanian Society of Radiology in 2014, and honorary membership in the European Society of Radiology earlier this year.
Baron is survived by his wife, Shirley, son Tim, and daughter Christine.
A memorial service will be held at Rockefeller Chapel at the University of Chicago at 11 am, Wednesday, May 31, with a reception to follow.
The Baron family requests that in lieu of flowers a donation be made to the RSNA Research & Education Foundation. A fund has been established for donations in memory of Richard Baron which will go to support a young radiology researcher in abdominal imaging.