Bob Simon

My friend, Bob Simon, died last night in a car accident in Manhattan. We had worked together in Beirut, Jerusalem and Warsaw. And we did our thing all over this country. Bob’s body of work was extraordinary. What people don’t know about Bob is that he battled prostate cancer and had other serious health issues.
Bob put himself into dangerous situations, from Vietnam to Iraq, where he ws held hostage for more than forty days. Bob was fatalistic. He often wondered out loud how long he would be around. He never seemed to be looking for a reaction. His comments were quiet and seemed genuine.
Some of Bob’s happiest times were spent on his motorcycle. He lived on the edge. Life is so fragile. All of us have our stuff. Bob’s battle with chronic illnesses matched any war he covered. He survived life threatening situations abroad and feared issues of health. Bob recognized his own mortality. I believe he died because he chose not to put on his seatbelt.

13 Responses to Bob Simon

  1. Betty February 12, 2015 at 11:54 am #

    Life is fragile. Peace to Bob Simon, and condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.

  2. Hannah February 12, 2015 at 1:12 pm #

    If it would have saved his life, I think selfishly everyone would have wanted him to be wearing that seatbelt. But you can’t live someone else’s life for them. Richard, I bet you guys got along real well…you seem to be cut from the same mold. Another bright light in real journalism dimmed. And clearly a great friend is gone too soon.

    “Don’t cry because it’s over – smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

    • Richard M. Cohen February 12, 2015 at 1:48 pm #



  3. Theresa February 12, 2015 at 2:29 pm #

    Hi Richard,

    I am sorry that you lost your friend.


    • Richard M. Cohen February 12, 2015 at 3:40 pm #



  4. Jan February 12, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    I told a very good friend over coffee in my home this morning that, aside from looming work deadlines, I wasn’t sure why I commented yesterday about your birthday instead of waiting until Saturday, but I was then glad I did because this morning in learning of Bob Simon’s untimely passing and especially confirming in your post now that he was indeed a friend and colleague, I would not feel inspired to do so on Saturday. My sincere sympathies.

    Two additional notes from your book: on p. 27, I see not “a limited person” (in you, in him, in any of us with health issues) but, rather, a person with certain limitations. And on p. 35, “Go with what you’ve got.” From what you imparted about Mr. Simon, it appears to me that, even in the face of illness, he did just that. So today, I will not wait for unattainable perfection, “normalcy,” or my old life. I will work to make some attainable impact just as I am.

    • Richard M. Cohen February 12, 2015 at 4:34 pm #

      A great sentiment. Thanks.


  5. Yvonne February 12, 2015 at 6:56 pm #

    The accident was tragic. Made me think that most of us do not wear seatbelts in taxis or limos. An unfortunate decision may have contributed to a tremendous loss for his friends family and all those who appreciated his outstanding journalism. Sad news indeed. Sorry you lost a good friend and colleague

    • Richard M. Cohen February 12, 2015 at 7:49 pm #

      He did not put his seatbelt on. He would be alive today.


  6. David February 13, 2015 at 4:08 pm #


    Sorry you lost your friend,

    Remember the good times

  7. Christopher February 15, 2015 at 6:47 am #

    I’m sorry to hear about your friend and colleague, Richard. I really looked forward to hearing Mr. Simon on 60 Minutes each week. He had a unique voice that seemed to carry his exuberance for issues in the world slightly under the surface of it if you listened carefully. The fearlessness you talk about sounds like a person who understands the reality of life and refuses to be a victim of circumstance. I think we all aspire to be somewhat that way, and it’s inspiring (there’s that word again) when we notice it in others. Especially when it seems genuine and not forced. You can really hear it in the way he talks about his captivity in Iraq in a Fresh Air interview with Dave Davies. You don’t hear complaining or really any negativity… he sounds almost like a young person recounting a recent adventure, even though it must have been extremely bleak. I wish some solace for his family and friends in their grief.

    • Richard February 15, 2015 at 10:05 am #

      Bob was a very young 73.


  8. Christopher February 15, 2015 at 1:35 pm #

    Too young.