After spending the last 40 years working for ESPN, Bob Ley announced his retirement from the network Wednesday morning. Ley had been ESPN’s longest-tenured anchor as he began working with the network on September 9, 1979, its third day of existence. He had been taking a leave of absence since last October.
In a heartfelt tweet posted at 9:31 a.m. on June 26, Ley stated “I will be retiring from ESPN, as of the end of the month. To be clear, this is entirely my decision. I enjoy the best of health and the many blessings of friends and family, and it is in that context that I’m making this change.”
Ley, 64, is most known for his time as the host of ESPN’s Outside the Lines. The show, which focuses on investigative reporting, had been hosted by Ley since its premiere in May 1990. He also spent many years hosting the feature reporting show E:60 on Sunday mornings.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, Ley is credited with giving the first live news report after the earthquake that rocked the 1989 World Series, leading ESPN’s 9/11 coverage and serving as a lead reporter on CTE and the Penn State football scandal.
According to ESPN, Ley won 11 Sports Emmy awards and four Edward R. Murrow awards for his reporting and work on Outside the Lines. He was also inducted into the NSMA Hall of Fame for Sports Broadcasting earlier this year.
In a statement, ESPN’s president Jimmy Pitaro said, “Bob was there for all of it and, over the years, his unwavering commitment and unparalleled work ethic drove our journalistic ambitions. The best way we can thank Bob for what he’s meant to ESPN and to sports fans is to continue to uphold the journalistic integrity and principles he’s instilled in ESPN for nearly 40 years.”