NEW YORK (Reuters/AFP) - Veteran CBS News correspondent, a long-time member of the 60 Minutes team of journalists, was killed in a New York City car accident on Wednesday night, CBS said. He was 73.
The network had no further immediate details on Mr Simon's death.
The New York Daily News reported that Mr Simon was a passenger in a taxi or car for hire that slammed into the back of another vehicle and struck a metal barrier on Manhattan’s West Side.New York police said their officers responded to such an accident, but declined to confirm the identity of the victim until next of kin were notified.
According to the New York Post, quoting sources, the police had to cut open the cab to extricate the reporter and the cab driver, it added.
The driver of the other vehicle said the cab driver was driving in an erratic manner, and he was attended to by medics who suspected a heart attack, the New York Post reported.
Mr Simon died in hospital, where he was brought to after the accident.
Colleagues and contemporaries were quick to pay tribute.
“It is such a tragedy made worse because we lost him in a car accident, a man who has escaped more difficult situations than almost any journalist in modern times,” said CBS News Chairman and 60 Minutes executive producer Jeffrey Fager.“Bob was a reporter’s reporter. He was driven by a natural curiosity that took him all over the world covering every kind of story imaginable.“There is no one else like Bob Simon,” Mr Fager said. “All of us at CBS News and particularly at ‘60 Minutes’ will miss him very much.”
"Bob was for the last five decades, simply one of the best, in my opinion ... at getting a story, telling a story, writing a story and making it simply unforgettable,” said CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who worked with Mr Simon at 60 Minutes. “He was a warrior-poet who loved life and loved people,” he added.
“#BobSimon was the best writer, in my opinion, working in broadcast news. I have admired him from the time I was a kid watching #CBSNews,” Mr Cooper also said on Twitter.
Mr Simon’s death comes during a tumultuous week in the US broadcast media world, with Daily Show host Jon Stewart announcing he is quitting and the suspension of NBC’s star anchor Brian Williams for embellishing an Iraq war story.
Mr Simon’s career spanned five decades, from covering the Vietnam War to a piece on 60 Minutes last weekend about the Oscar-nominated civil rights drama Selma.
Tall, lanky and possessed of an erudite demeanor on camera, Mr Simon has covered most major overseas conflicts from the 1960s to the present and has been a regular contributor to the weekly 60 Minutes news magazine on CBS since 1996.The 2014-2015 season was his 19th on the weekly Sunday night broadcast. He also was a correspondent on all seven seasons of 60 Minutes II until that show ended its run in 2005.He earned 27 Emmy awards for his reporting during his career, and won electronic journalism’s highest honor, the Alfred I. DuPont-Columbia University Award, for the piece Shame of Srebrencia, a 60 Minutes II report on genocide during the Bosnian War.