After a career that included many years of reporting from conflict zones around the world, veteran CBS newsman Bob Simon has been killed in a car crash in his hometown. The highly respected 60 Minutes correspondent was killed when the hired town car he was a passenger in was involved in a crash on New York City's West Side Highway last night, the New York Daily News reports. He was 73 years old. Police say Simon and the injured driver had to be cut out of the vehicle after it hit a Mercedes and then slammed into metal barriers, the AP reports. No arrests have been made and the accident is still under investigation.
In 45 years at CBS, the Bronx native won awards that included four Peabody Awards and an amazing 27 Emmys, according to the network, whose president describes him as a "giant of broadcast journalism." In a war reporting career that began in Vietnam, where he was on one of the last helicopters out of Saigon, "in addition to several short detentions, close calls, and wounds," he was captured by Iraqi forces at the beginning of the Gulf War and spent 40 days in Iraqi prisons with three other members of the news team, CBS says. The death "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," says 60 Minutes producer Jeff Fagen. "Bob was a reporter's reporter." (Read more 60 Minutes stories.)