Longtime CBS newsman Bob Simon was killed in a car crash during the PM rush hour on Wednesday, February 11. The veteran television correspondent was 73, and known for his work on “60 Minutes.” He covered many foreign news assignments, including reportage from Vietnam during the Vietnam War. His work garnered many accolades, including 27 Emmy Awards and awards from the Overseas Press Club.
In addition to Vietnam, he covered stories around the world, including Northern Ireland, Haiti, Somalia, Poland, and the Middle East, where he served as CBS News Chief Middle Eastern correspondent. In his earliest years with CBS in the 1960s, he covered domestic issues such as campus unrest and inner-city riots.
His career with CBS spanned five decades, and in 19 years he contributed several memorable segments for “60 Minutes.” His daughter Tanya produced his now-final segment scheduled for Sunday, February 15.
In January 1991 he was captured by Iraqi forces, early during the Persian Gulf War, and was imprisoned for over a month. He later penned a memoir about that called “40 Days.”
Born in the Bronx, New York City and a resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Simon was a passenger in a livery cab that was heading south on Manhattan’s West Side Highway, when the cab struck a Mercedes Benz and then rammed into a center divider at West 30th Street. The car he was riding in was so badly mangled that hydraulic tools were needed to extricate Simon from the back seat. The driver suffered injuries and was taken to Bellevue Hospital. The NYPD Collision Investigation Squad is now working on finding the causes of the accident.
The loss of Simon has touched New York greatly, and the media has been covering it in heavy, personal detail. Local New Radio 880 anchors and reporters have been reminiscing about him throughout the morning. This also comes on the heels of other high-profile stories about television news anchors: the flak over NBC’s Brian Williams, who made a false statement on-air about his war reporting experience, and Jon Stewart’s on-air announcement on Comedy Central, of his upcoming retirement.
CBS News has had many highly regarded journalists who have shaped the nature of reporting. Perhaps the most famous was Edward R. Murrow, still considered a standard of foreign and domestic reporting. Back in? December, one of Murrow’s proteges, Richard C. Hottelet, died at the age of 97. Simon’s work will be admired for generations to come; he was a journalist’s journalist.