Richard Baron, 1949-2017

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Professor and former Chairman of the Department, Dr. Richard Baron. A memorial service for Dr. Baron will be held on Wednesday, May 31, at the University of Chicago’s Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn Ave. The service will begin at 11:00 a.m.

We share Dean Dr. Kenneth Polonsky's remarks,

"I am deeply saddened to tell you that Richard L. Baron, MD, FACR, a professor and former Chairman of the Department of Radiology at the University of Chicago, died suddenly while playing tennis on Thursday evening. He was 68 years old. The presumed cause of death was a heart attack.

Rich, a leading authority on diagnostic imaging of liver disease, enjoyed an extremely distinguished career in research, education and medicine. He served as Chair of the Department of Radiology at the University from 2002 to 2011 and Dean for Clinical Practice and head of our Faculty Practice Plan from 2011 to 2013.

Prior to that, Rich was Chairman of radiology at the University of Pittsburgh and founding President and CEO of the University of Pittsburgh Physicians. He served on the board of the Radiological Society of North America from 2008 to 2016 and was president of the board for 2016. He was serving on the American College of Radiology Board of Chancellors at the time of his death.

Richard Baron was born March 11, 1949, in Springfield, Massachusetts. He graduated cum laude from Yale University in 1972 and earned his medical degree and election to Alpha Omega Alpha at the Washington University School of Medicine in 1976. His internship in internal medicine at Yale University was followed by a residency in radiology and an abdominal radiology fellowship at the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University. Later in his career, faced with increasing administrative duties, he pursued further education in the MBA program at the Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.

Rich authored or co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific articles. He was a co-editor of the textbook Multislice-CT of the Abdomen. He authored 53 book chapters and review articles, and organized numerous scientific and educational exhibits.

A popular speaker, he presented hundreds of invited lectures throughout the world. He served as a reviewer for multiple journals, including Radiology, The American Journal of Roentgenology, The Journal of Computer Assisted Tomography, Liver Transplantation, Gastroenterology, and European Radiology, and was an associate editor of Radiology from 1991 to 1996 and of Liver Transplantation from 2004 to 2009.

In addition to his long service to the RSNA, Dr. Baron was active in the American College of Radiology and the American Roentgen Ray Society (ARRS). He was a past president of the Society of Gastrointestinal Radiology, as well as the Society of Computed Body Tomography and Magnetic Resonance. He provided expertise in the realm of quality and safety on national and international levels, serving on the Joint Commission Professional Technical Advisory Committee from 2007 to 2011 and providing guidance to the International Atomic Energy Commission and the World Health Organization.

Dr. Baron earned international honors from numerous radiology societies, primarily for his work on diagnostic imaging of liver disease. He was a Fellow of the ACR and the SGR and received honorary fellowships and awards from multiple international societies and associations, including the European Society of Gastrointestinal and Abdominal Radiology, the Asian Oceanic Society of Radiology, the French, Spanish and Italian Radiological Societies, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Just as important as his many accomplishments, is the lasting and valued personal relationships that Rich enjoyed with so many of us.  He treated everyone with respect and was the consummate professional.  We benefitted from his thoughtful guidance and his ability and eagerness to mentor younger colleagues. He was a master educator and lifelong learner – a role model for trainees and clinical peers alike.

Dr. Baron is survived by his wife Shirley Baron; their son, Tim Baron, a Chicago filmmaker, and daughter, Christine Turner; and Dr. Baron’s brother John."