Thursday, February 12, 2015

"60 Minutes" Correspondant, And Opera Lover, Bob Simon Dies

UPDATE (02/14/15): "A private memorial for '60 Minutes' correspondent Bob Simon was set for 150 friends and colleagues on Monday in one of his favorite venues: The Metropolitan Opera House. The Lincoln Center sendoff, five days after Simon’s shocking death in a West Side Highway car wreck, was detailed in a Friday internal CBS memo obtained by the Daily News. A much larger public service was planned for 'the coming months, details to follow,' the memo said. Simon, 73, the award-winning international correspondent for CBS News, was a fan of German composer Richard Wagner and covered several music-related stories for the news magazine. Simon was a regular patron at the opera house, where his widow Francoise and their daughter Tanya were spotted Friday morning." [Source]
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Bob Simon arriving at The Metropolitan
Opera's Opening Night in September 2007.
"On February 11, 2015 Simon was killed in a car crash in Manhattan, New York City. The New York Police Department said the accident occurred around 6:45 p.m. at 30th Street and 12th Avenue. He was a passenger in a Lincoln Town Car when it struck the driver's side of a 2003 Mercedes Benz that was stopped at a red light. 'He swerved into me,' said the driver of the Mercedes 'He hit me and he looked like he lost control of the car.' Simon's vehicle then veered off and collided with a metal barrier separating the two lanes of traffic. Simon went into cardiac arrest and was taken to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital, where he died. Simon is survived by his wife, Françoise, and their daughter, Tanya, who is a producer for 60 Minutes." More information about the late television personality is after the jump. Watch Bob Simon's report on 60 Minutes, "Reinventing Opera at the MET," by clicking here. Listen to an archived interview of him discussing his love of opera with Marilyn Horne on WQXR by clicking here. In the interview, he discusses his initial encounter with opera (Il Trovatore in A Night at the Opera with the Marx Brothers); attending his first performance (going to Mexico City to hear Giuseppe di Stefano in Andrea Chénier and Carmen, as well as hanging out with the tenor afterwards); his love of La Gioconda; seeing Aida in Luxor; hearing Birgit Nilsson and Wolfgang Windgassen sing Götterdämmerung during the late 1960s; attending two performances of Parsifal in one week; how he would like to play Don Giovanni; and that "Ella giammai m'amò" from Don Carlo is the aria that moved him the most 


Robert David "Bob" Simon (May 29, 1941 – February 11, 2015) was an American television correspondent for CBS News. During his career, he covered crises, war, and unrest in sixty-seven countries. Simon reported the withdrawal of American troops from Vietnam, the Yom Kippur War in in 1973, and the student protests in China's Tiananmen Square in 1989. During the Persian Gulf War in 1991, he and four of his TV crew were captured and imprisoned by Iraq for forty days, about which experience he wrote a book, Forty Days. He became a regular correspondent for CBS's 60 Minutes in 1996 and, in 1999, for 60 Minutes II. Simon was born to a Jewish family in the Bronx, New York. In 1962, he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University with a degree in history. From 1964 to 1967, Simon served as an American Foreign Service officer and was a Fulbright Scholar in France and a Woodrow Wilson scholar. From 1969 to 1971, he served in the CBS News London bureau. From 1971 to 1977, he was based in the London and Saigon bureaus, where he served as a Vietnam War correspondent. From 1977 to 1981, he was assigned to the CBS News Tel Aviv bureau. From 1981 to 1982 Simon spent time in Washington, D.C., as the CBS News State Department correspondent. From 1982 to 1987, Simon served as a New York-based CBS News national correspondent. In 1987, Simon was named the CBS News Chief Middle Eastern correspondent. During the opening days of the Gulf War in January 1991, Simon and his CBS News team were captured by Iraqi forces and spent 40 days in Iraqi prisons; he later chronicled the experience in the book Forty Days. In 1996 Simon joined 60 Minutes as a correspondent, and in 1998 he was named a 60 Minutes II correspondent. Notable stories he filed in recent years include the first profile of the so-called Lost Boys of Sudan and an exclusive interview with Iraqi Shiite insurgency leader Muqtada al-Sadr. Most recently, he had served as the senior foreign correspondent for 60 Minutes. Simon won an Emmy Award for his report on the world's only all-black symphony orchestra in Central Africa in 2012. He would win yet another Emmy Award with his reporting about an orchestra in Paraguay whose poor members constructed instruments from the trash retrieved from a local landfill. Over his career, he won 4 Peabody Awards and 27 Emmy Awards. Recipient of the Edward Weintal Prize given by Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in recognition of distinguished reporting on foreign policy and diplomacy. He also was the recipient of the following awards: 27-time Emmy Award winner; 4-time Overseas Press Club recipient; and winner of three George Foster Peabody Awards, including a Personal Award in 1999. [Source]


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