Bob Simon dead: US news 'legend' and CBS 60 Minutes star killed in car crash

Simon covered events from the Vietnam War to last month's Oscar-nominated movie Selma

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The Independent Online

The award-winning US news man and “60 Minutes” correspondent Bob Simon has died in a car crash at the age of 73.

The long-time CBS star was one of the most decorated TV journalists in the US, winning four Peabody and 27 Emmy awards for his reports that spanned five decades, from inner-city riots in the late 1960s to the Oscar-nominated movie Selma last year.

Arguably most famous for having been held captive for more than a month in Iraq during the first Gulf War, Simon had been contributing to 60 Minutes since 1996.

Police said Simon was the passenger in a car which was involved in a crash with another vehicle in Manhattan. Both Simon and his driver were taken to hospital, where the journalist was later pronounced dead.

Anderson Cooper, who presents for 60 Minutes, fought back tears talking about Simon's death. He said when Simon presented a 60 Minutes story, “you knew it was going to be something special”.

"I dreamed of being, and still hope to be, a quarter of the writer that Bob Simon is and has been," the CNN anchor said. "Bob Simon was a legend in my opinion. He was someone I was intimidated by."

Simon joined CBS News in 1967 as a reporter and assignment editor, covering campus unrest and inner-city riots. He also worked in CBS' Tel Aviv bureau from 1977 to 1981 and in Washington DC as its US Department of State correspondent.

His career in war reporting began in Vietnam and he was on one of the last helicopters out of Saigon when the US withdrew in 1975.

At the outset of the Gulf War in January 1991, Simon was captured by Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border. 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 returned to Baghdad in January 1993 to cover the American bombing of Iraq.

Bronx-born Simon graduated from Brandeis University in 1962 with a degree in history. He leaves a wife and daughter, who is a producer for 60 Minutes in New York.

Additional reporting by AP