Idol Chatter

bobsimonThe journalism community received tragic news last night, legendary writer and reporter Bob Simon was killed in a car crash on the West Side Highway, after Simon’s limo driver lost control of the vehicle. According to law enforcement reports, the Lincoln Town Car that Simon, 73, was riding in collided with a Mercedes-Benz, then veered across the roadway and plowed into a pedestrian expansion near West 30th Street at about 7 p.m.

Unfortunately, the Town Car was so destroyed that rescuers had to pry open the roof of the car to extract Simon. Sources say that Simon was found unresponsive with head and stomach injuries. The 44-year-old Lincoln driver was treated by responders for a possible heart attack and suffered two broken legs and arm. It was not clear if he actually suffered a heart attack, nor was it immediately clear if he was stricken before or after the crash. The driver is currently listed in stable condition.

Simon, who lived on the Upper West Side, was traveling downtown to attend a seminar. Simon joined CBS in 1967, launching his career as a foreign correspondent while covering the Vietnam War from the London and Saigon bureaus.

Simon was aboard one of the last helicopters out of Saigon in 1975 and covered the Gulf War in 1991, when he and several members of a CBS News crew were captured by Iraqi forces and held hostage.
Simon and the other hostages spent 40 days in an Iraqi prison, where they were interrogated and beaten with canes. In 1996, Simon joined 60 Minutes on CBS.

Simon has won 25 Emmy Awards for his in-depth journalism reports. Some of his recent reports included an interview with Iraqi insurgency leader Muqtada al-Sadr and coverage of Sudan, where thousands of people were displaced after the second civil war. And he was finishing up a documentary on Ebola with his daughter, who is a producer at CBS, to air in the near future.

Simon will be deeply missed. He is survived by his wife, Francoise, and grandson, Jack.

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