Bob Simon, the longtime CBS News and "60 Minutes" correspondent who built a reputation as a "reporter's reporter" over a five-decade career covering everything from War to the movie "Selma", was killed Wednesday night after the car he was riding in crashed on Manhattan's West Side Highway, the network said
Simon, a 73-year-old Bronx native, was riding in a black Lincoln Town Car that lost control near West 30th Street and 12th Avenue at about 6:45 p.m. and slammed into a 2003 Mercedes Benz stopped at a red light. After the collision, Simon's car careened into metal stanchions, trapping Simon and his driver inside.
Firefighters had to cut the roof off the car to free the driver and Simon, who was found unconscious in the back with injuries to his head and torso, police said. He was taken to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Sourcest identify the Town Car's driver as 44-year-old Reshad Abdul Fedahi. Fedahi had minor injuries, and the Mercedes Benz driver was uninjured.
Sources tell NBC 4 New York that speed may have contributed to the crash. The NYPD's collision investigation squad is reviewing the case.
"CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley, his eyes red, announced the death Wednesday night in a special report.
"We have some sad news from within our CBS News family," Pelley said. "Our colleague Bob Simon was killed this evening."
"Vietnam is where he first began covering warfare, and he gave his firsthand reporting from virtually every major battlefield around the world since," Pelley said.
Simon had worked for CBS News since 1967, beginning his career as a reporter and assignment editor, CBS said. He worked in the network's Tel Aviv bureau from 1977 to 1981 and in Washington as Department of State correspondent. He had been a regular correspondent on "60 Minutes" since 1996.
He also spent nearly three decades as a war reporter, covering nearly every major conflict following beginning with the Vietnam War. During the Gulf War in 1991, Simon and three other CBS News journalists were captured and held in Iraqi prisons for 40 days.
Simon's reporting garnered multiple Emmy and Peabody awards and the adoration of his colleagues. "60 Minutes" executive producer Jeff Fager called Simon a "reporter's reporter" in a statement, adding that the tragedy of his death was made worse because he had escaped more treacherous situations than any other modern journalist.
CNN anchor and occasional "60 Minutes" contributor Anderson Cooper called Simon a "legend."
"I dreamed of being, and still hope to be, a quarter of the writer that Bob Simon is and has been," Cooper said.
CBS News Vice President Chris Licht called Simon a "true legend," saying in a statement, "The tragic loss of Bob Simon is heartbreaking news for the entire CBS family."
Simon won 27 Emmy Awards and multiple Peabody honors for his reporting, CBS News. He was also the recipient of broadcast journalism's highest honor, the Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, for "Shame of Srebrenica," a "60 Minutes II" report on genocide during the Bosnian War.
Simon's most recent piece for "60 Minutes," a conversation with "Selma" director Ava DuVernay, aired this past weekend. His next piece, on the Ebola virus and the search for a cure, was set to air this weekend.
Simon lived in New York with his wife Francoise, according to a biography on the CBS News website. Their daughter Tanya is a producer for "60 Minutes."