“Bob Simon was a giant of broadcast journalism, and a dear friend to everyone in the CBS News family. We are all shocked by this tragic, sudden loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bob’s extended family and especially with our colleague Tanya Simon,” CBS News President David Rhodes said in a statement.
“It’s a terrible loss for all of us at CBS News,” 60 Minutes Executive Producer Jeff Fager said. “It is such 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. 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. “There is no one else like Bob Simon. All of us at CBS News and particularly at 60 Minutes will miss him very much.”
According to CBS, the crash that killed Simon happened Wednesday evening in New York. Reports say Simon was riding in the back seat of a car that rear-ended another car and hit metal barriers on the side of the road. Simon was transported to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, unconscious with head and torso injuries before he died. Police are investigating the crash but haven’t made any arrests.
Simon’s career at CBS spanned 47 years. He earned more than 40 major awards, including 25 Emmys, the most ever earned by a field reporter.
Simon also covered violence all over the globe as a longtime war reporter — his career saw him in Saigon during the Vietnam War, Northern Ireland during violent uprisings in the late 1960s and war zones in Portugal, Cyprus, the Persian Gulf, Grenada, Somalia and Haiti.
During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Simon was imprisoned and tortured by the Iraqi army, an experience that inspired his book, Forty Days.
“… This was the most searing experience of my life,” Simon told the Los Angeles Times. “… I wrote about it because I needed to write about it.”
Simon was still actively reporting for 60 Minutes — his most recent piece aired last weekend, and he was working on a story for Sunday about the Ebola virus.
Our thoughts are with Simon’s friends and family during this difficult time.