WASHINGTON, February 12, 2015 — “60 Minutes” announced that long-time correspondent Bob Simon died in a car accident in New York City last night.
The 73-year-old Simon was riding in the back seat of a Lincoln Town Car livery cab that lost control in New York. The driver hit another car and then drove into the stanchions that separate northbound and southbound traffic.
Simon, whose career spanned more than five decades, joined “60 Minutes” in 1996. His last report aired last weekend, and covered the making of the film “Selma.”
Simon frequently covered international events, including war and genocide. He won 27 Emmys, four Peabody’s and the President’s Award, as well as the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award, journalism’s highest honor.
In January 1991, Iraqi forces captured Simon. He spent 40 days in detention after Iraqis accused him of being a member of Israeli intelligence.
Simon, who was subject to torture during the detention said that experience changed him. However, he did not curb his international coverage.
He started his career by covering the Vietnam War. He also covered Vietnam, Northern Ireland, Poland, Cyprus, The Falklands, Yugoslavia, Haiti, Somalia, Lebanon, Gaza and other international hotspots.
Before his career in journalism, Simon was a Foreign Service Officer. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University and was a Fulbright scholar in France and a Woodrow Wilson scholar.
During a speech at the Emmys, Simon did what he said he normally avoided doing, which was giving advice. He made three important points:
- There are not always two sides to a story. Simon noted that there were not two sides in Rwanda, or in Sarajevo.
- If someone calls you by your first name during an interview, they are probably lying.
- If you want to make sure someone is telling you the truth, do animal stories.
The world will miss the wisdom of Bob Simon.
He is survived by his wife, Francoise, their daughter Tanya, his son-in-law Dr. Evan Garfein, and a grandson, Jack