The Forum is deeply saddened by the news that Bob Simon, one of the most accomplished journalists in American history, died yesterday in a car crash on the West Side Highway. Simon was a longtime “60 Minutes” correspondent and covered virtually every major foreign story in the last three decades. His contribution to the journalist profession cannot be overstated. He was 73.
Simon was a winner of 27 Emmy Awards and four Peabody Awards for his reporting on such stories as “The King of Sushi,” on the over-fishing of bluefin tuna; “Curveball,” the investigation of the Iraqi defector who provided the faulty testimony that eventually led America to war; “The Oil Sands” (2006), about extracting petroleum from Canada’s sand pits; “The Sea Gypsies” (2005), a report on the island-dwelling Moken peoples of Southeast Asia; and “Aftershock” (2005), about paramedics saving lives after an earthquake in Pakistan. Other winners broadcast on the Sunday edition are his profile of Italian actor-director Roberto Benigni (1999) and “Dirty War” (2000), a report about the Argentine government’s murderous campaign against dissidents. While at “60 Minutes II,” Simon received an Emmy Award (2000) and an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award (2001) for “Shame of Srebrenica,” a report on heinous acts of genocide in Europe, and another Emmy Award (2000) for “The Lost Children,” a report on orphaned children shipped to Australia. He also received an Emmy Award (2001) and an IRE certificate (2001) for his investigation into the fate of a Navy pilot shot down in Operation Desert Storm. Simon has been honored with a Peabody Award (2000) for “a body of work by an outstanding international journalist on a diverse set of critical global issues.” In 1996 he received an Overseas Press Club (OPC) Award, a Peabody Award, and two Emmy Awards for his coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and another OPC Award in 1991 for his coverage of the Gulf War.
Simon was also a guest of the Forum, speaking with actor David Strathairn and fellow journalist Sam Roberts to discuss Good Night and Good Luck at the 2012 Forum Film Festival. We are honored to have considered him a friend of the Forum, and he will be deeply missed.