Bob Simon, an award-winning correspondent for CBS News and “60 Minutes,” was killed Feb. 11 in New York when the town car in which he was a passenger in the backseat sideswiped another car and crashed into a median. He was 73.
“Bob was a reporter’s reporter,” “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager said. “He was driven by a natural curiosity that took him all over the world covering every kind of story imaginable. There is no one else like Bob Simon. All of us at CBS News and particularly at “60 Minutes” will miss him very much.”
Simon’s 48-year career at CBS News began as a reporter in 1967. The Vietnam War was the assignment that set him apart as a master storyteller and a thorough, unflappable correspondent who could cover any topic anywhere in the world. He was on one of the last helicopters to leave Saigon when the United States pulled out of South Vietnam in 1975, and was chief Middle East correspondent based in Tel Aviv for several years.
In 1991 during the war in the Persian Gulf, Simon and three CBS colleagues were imprisoned and tortured for 40 days by Iraqi soldiers. Simon wrote about the harrowing experience in his book, “Forty Days.”
“I wrote about it because I needed to write about it,” he said.
Simon became a full-time correspondent on “60 Minutes” in 2005. His 27th Emmy was for a story in 2013 about an orchestra in Paraguay whose instruments were made from recycled trash. His most recent interview, with “Selma” director Ava DuVernay, aired Feb. 8.
Simon’s last report for “60 Minutes,” a story about the search for an Ebola cure, will be broadcast Feb. 15. Simon’s daughter, Tanya, a “60 Minutes” producer, collaborated with him on the story.