BOB SIMON, ’60 MINUTES’ CORRESPONDENT
Mr. Simon was a passenger in a livery cab that sideswiped a Mercedes-Benz sedan stopped at a red light on 12th Avenue near West 30th Street about 6:45 p.m., the police said. The cab then careened into the median, crashing into the metal stanchions separating the northbound and southbound traffic lanes. Mr. Simon, who, the police said, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, was taken to Mount Sinai Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
The 44-year-old livery-cab driver was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center with two broken legs and a broken arm. The driver of the Mercedes was not injured. The police said on Thursday that the livery cab had accelerated in the seconds before the crash. Both the cab driver and the driver of the Mercedes tested negative for alcohol.
Mr. Simon, who was in his 19th season as a correspondent for “60 Minutes,” won dozens of honors, including 27 Emmy Awards and four Peabody Awards, in a career that dated to the 1960s. He covered many significant news events during the course of that career and, as a war correspondent, was captured by Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Kuwait border during the opening days of the Persian Gulf war in January 1991.
He wrote about that experience in his 1992 memoir, “40 Days.” The title referred to the length of his captivity.
Mr. Simon joined CBS News in 1967 as a reporter and assignment editor in New York, where he covered unrest on college campuses, urban riots and the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. He found his niche as a war reporter covering the Vietnam War.
He was based in Saigon and London from 1971 to 1977, and left Saigon on one of the last American helicopters out of the city in 1975, CBS reported. He also covered conflicts in Northern Ireland and Portugal, as well as American military actions in Grenada, Somalia and Haiti.
He was assigned to CBS’s Tel Aviv bureau from 1977 to 1981 and then moved to Washington, where he was the network’s State Department correspondent from 1981 to 1982. He returned to New York as a national correspondent and remained there until 1987, when he returned to Tel Aviv as the network’s chief Middle East correspondent.
Mr. Simon received a Peabody in 2000 for “a body of work by an outstanding international journalist on a diverse set of critical global issues,” and an Emmy for lifetime achievement in 2003, according to the CBS website. He became a full-time correspondent for “60 Minutes” in 2005. He earned his most recent Emmy for a story about an orchestra in Paraguay whose members made instruments out of trash.
His latest contribution to “60 Minutes,” broadcast over the weekend, was an interview with Ava DuVernay, the director of the movie “Selma.”
“It’s a terrible loss for all of us at CBS News,” Jeff Fager, executive producer of “60 Minutes,” said in a statement. “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.”
Robert David Simon was born on May 29, 1941, in the Bronx, and graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1962 with a degree in history, according to his biography page on the CBS website. Before joining CBS, he worked as a Foreign Service officer from 1964 to 1967. He was also a Fulbright scholar in France and a Woodrow Wilson scholar.
His survivors include his wife, Françoise, and their daughter, Tanya, a producer for “60 Minutes” in New York.