Tags: Bob Simon | CBS | 60 Minutes | obit

Bob Simon, '60 Minutes' Correspondent, Dies at 73

Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 09:47 PM

"60 Minutes" correspondent Bob Simon, the CBS News veteran who made his name covering overseas hot spots, was killed in a car accident Wednesday night in New York City, according to CBS. He was 73.

Simon was the passenger in a hired car that lost control and slammed into another vehicle near West 32nd Street and 12th Avenue in Manhattan at 6:45 p.m. ET, the New York Fire Department said. Simon was transported to a hospital where he died.

In his prime, Simon was the epitome of the hard-charging foreign correspondent willing to parachute into war-torn regions and other dangerous situations to bring world news to America's living rooms. Simon spent the past two decades as a contributor to "60 Minutes," the last chapter of a nearly 50-year career at CBS, starting out as a reporter and assignment editor in New York in 1967.

In 1991 Simon made international headlines when he and three other CBS News staffers were imprisoned by Iraqi forces for 40 days during the first Gulf War. Simon later wrote a book about the experience, "Forty Days."

"60 Minutes" exec producer Jeff Fager praised Simon's legacy and dedication to his work.

"Bob was a reporter's reporter. He was driven by a natural curiosity that took him all over the world covering every kind of story imaginable," Fager said. The shock of his death amounts to "a tragedy made worse because we lost him in a car accident, a man who has escaped more difficult situations than almost any journalist in modern times," Fager added.

Simon's first overseas posting was in CBS' London bureau in 1969, where he covered unrest in Northern Ireland. He reported on the Vietnam War extensively in the mid-1970s. He was there for the final weeks of the American involvement and caught one of the last helicopters out of Saigon in 1975.

Simon also worked out of CBS' Tel-Aviv bureau from 1977-81 during a highly volatile period for Israel and the Middle East. During the 1980s he worked as a national correspondent and State Department correspondent. But by 1987 he was back overseas as chief Middle Eastern correspondent, which put him in a position to cover with great authority both U.S. military actions in Iraq, as well as the rise of Al Qaida and other highly organized terrorist groups.

Simon's globe-trotting work encompassed everything from CBS' Olympics coverage to the birth of the Solidarity movement in Poland to Nelson Mandela's release from prison to famine in Africa. Simon appeared on virtually every CBS News broadcast during his long run at the network.

The New York native earned scores of awards for his work, including multiple Emmys, a Peabody and multiple Overseas Press Club Awards. His most recent Emmy win came for the "60 Minutes" segment "Joy in the Congo."

Born in the Bronx, Simon graduated from Brandeis University in 1962 with a degree in history. He was an American Foreign Service officer from 1964-67 before joining CBS News.

Simon was a prolific producer for "60 Minutes." He appeared on the show this past Sunday with a segment about the Oscar-nommed movie "Selma" and director Ava DuVernay.

"Stunned," DuVernay wrote on Twitter late Wednesday. "We spent time together on my 60 Minutes piece just a few weeks ago. My goodness. May God rest his soul."

"CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley also paid tribute to his colleague on Twitter, calling him "a journalist of extraordinary courage."

Survivors include Simon's wife, Francoise, and daughter, Tanya Simon, who is a producer for "60 Minutes."

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60 Minutes correspondent Bob Simon died in a car accident on Wednesday night in New York City, according to CBS. He was 73. The veteran CBS journalist was reportedly the passenger in a Lincoln town car that was struck on the West Side Highway when it was struck by a...
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Wednesday, 11 Feb 2015 09:47 PM
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