Leonard "Len" Downie, Jr. (born May 1, 1942), was the executive editor of The Washington Post. He held this position since September 1, 1991, after serving as managing editor for seven years. Downie announced his retirement as executive editor on Monday, June 23, 2008 which took effect on September 8, 2008. Downie assumed the title upon the retirement of long serving executive editor Ben Bradlee. During Downie's tenure as executive editor, The Washington Post has won 25 Pulitzer Prizes. Downie currently serves as Vice President At Large.
Downie is the author of four nonfiction books. Random House published his fiction debut, The Rules of the Game, on January 13, 2009.
Downie grew up in and around Cleveland, Ohio. He received his BA and MA degrees in journalism and political science from The Ohio State University. While at Ohio State, he served as sports editor of the student newspaper, The Lantern. During his tenure there he covered Ohio State football as well as the riots that surrounded the school's decision to turn down a bid to the 1962 Rose Bowl. In June 1993, he received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Ohio State, in conjunction with his address during the university's commencement exercises. Downie lives in Washington, DC, with his wife, Janice. He is the father of four grown children, two stepchildren and grandfather to two grandchildren.