CBS’ Bob Simon dies in NYC car crash

CBS News correspondent Bob Simon died Wednesday night in a car crash, the network announced.

The journalist was riding in a for-hire Lincoln Town Car when the crash took place, the New York Post reported.

The longtime correspondent for 60 Minutes and foreign reporter was 73. A shaky-voiced Scott Pelley, anchor of CBS Evening News, announced Simon’s passing on the air shortly before 10 p.m. ET, offering condolences on the part of the network to Simon’s family.

Simon’s distinguished career included a hostage situation in the Middle East that CBS recalled in a statement.

« In addition to several short detentions, close calls and wounds, he was captured by Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border during the opening days of the Gulf War in January 1991, » CBS News said. « He and the other three members of CBS News’ coverage team spent 40 days in Iraqi prisons, an experience Simon wrote about in his book Forty Days. He went to Baghdad again in January 1993 to cover the American bombing of Iraq. »

CBS’ New York City affiliate reported the crash took place shortly before 7 p.m. ET on the city’s West Side Highway that runs alongside the Hudson River.

Simon’s award-winning career spanned five decades and took him from Japan to Egypt, and from Vietnam to Paraguay, according to CBS.

People who knew Simon expressed shock and sadness Wednesday evening.

Ava DuVernay, director of the movie Selma, tweeted, « Stunned. We spent time together on my 60 Minutes piece just a few weeks ago. My goodness. May God rest his soul. »

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin tweeted, « Bob Simon represented the very best in television news. His death is a tragedy. »

Former CBS News executive Paul Friedman praised Simon for his talent and professionalism.

« Bob was one of the finest reporters and writers in the business, » said Friedman, who teaches broadcast writing at Quinnipiac University. « He, better than most, knew how to make pictures and words work together to tell a story, which is television news at its best. »

Simon joined CBS News in New York in 1967 after serving three years as an American Foreign Service officer.

The Bronx native graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University as a history major. He is survived by his wife, Francoise, and daughter, Tanya, who is a producer for 60 Miinutes.

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