Bob Simon Bio

Bob Simon Correspondent, 60 Minutes II, Contributor, 60 Minutes

Bob Simon, the most honored journalist in international reporting, was named a correspondent for 60 Minutes II in November 1998. The broadcast debuted in January 1999 on the CBS Television Network to overwhelmingly positive critical acclaim. Simon continues to serve as a regular contributor to 60 Minutes, a position he has held since 1996.

He has covered virtually every major foreign story in the last three decades and, along the way, has accumulated scores of major awards. He was the recipient of an Overseas Press Club (OPC) Award, a Peabody Award and two Emmy Awards for his coverage of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and another OPC Award for his coverage of the Persian Gulf war. He also received an Emmy for a May 1998 report on Israels 50th birthday. His report on war-torn Sarajevo was part of an RTNDA Overall Excellence in Television Award received by CBS News in 1996. Simon has also won Emmy Awards for his reporting from Vietnam (two awards), Lebanon, Cambodia, Saudi Arabia, India and China, and a Peabody Award for his coverage of Tiananmen Square. He was a recipient of the 1997 Edward Weintal Prize given by Georgetown Universitys Institute for the Study of Diplomacy in recognition of "distinguished reporting on foreign policy and diplomacy."

Simons work has appeared on nearly every CBS News broadcast. He has landed many exclusive interviews for 60 Minutes, including the Hamas terrorist responsible for the 1996 Jerusalem bus bombings, from jail; Winnie Mandela; Dirk Coetze, the South African secret security captain who tortured and murdered countless blacks during apartheid; and Pete Peterson, a former prisoner of war and then Americas first ambassador to Hanoi, as he prepared to return to Vietnam.

Simon has also contributed acclaimed report to CBSs Olympics coverage. For the 1994 Olympic Winter Games in Lillehammer, he chronicled the botched attempt of the Mossad, Israels secret intelligence agency, to avenge the deaths of Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics, for which he received an Emmy Award. For the broadcast of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, he delivered a 30-minute piece on Louis Zamperini, an American Olympic runner who survived World War II as a prisoner of war of the Japanese and eventually triumphed over that and other extraordinary personal setbacks.

Simon was named CBS News chief Middle Eastern correspondent in 1987 and is recognized as the premier broadcast journalist in that part of the world. He was captured by Iraqi forces near the Saudi-Kuwaiti border during the opening days of the Gulf War in January 1991. He and the other three members of CBS News coverage team spent 40 days in Iraqi prisons, an experience Simon wrote about in his book, Forty Days (G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1992). Two months after his release in March 1991, he returned to Iraq to do an hour-long documentary, ABob Simon: Back to Baghdad.@ Simon went to that city again in January 1993 to cover the American bombing of Iraq.

His assignments are by no means restricted to the Middle East. In fact, Simons resume reads something like a world history book. He has covered the activities of countless major international figures, both revered and infamous, from Pope John Paul IIs historic visits to Poland and to Cuba, the release of Nelson Mandela in South Africa, Ferdinand Marcos abrupt departure from the Philippines, Nicolai Ceacescus murder in Romania and Francisco Francos death in Spain. Simon has chronicled dozens of the most important events of the past 30 years for CBS News including the devastating Kobe, Japan earthquake, the birth of Solidarity in Poland and the horrific famine in Biafra.

He has seen more than his share of war and conflict. In addition to Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, Sarajevo and Tiananmen Square, Simon has reported from the front lines on the American interventions in Grenada, Somalia and Haiti, the revolutions in Portugal and Prague, the civil wars in Central America, the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the conflict in Northern Ireland and the war between Britain and Argentina over the Falklands. Simon was with Israeli troops during the Yom Kippur war, with PLO fighters during the Israeli invasion of Lebanon and in Gaza the day the "intifada" began.

In addition to his distinguished work overseas, Simon served as a national correspondent in New York for CBS News (1982-87). He also spent time in Washington as the State Department correspondent (1981-82).

Before that, Simon was assigned for the first time to CBS News Tel Aviv bureau (1977-81).

While based in the London (1972-77) and Saigon (1971-72) bureaus, he reported extensively on the Vietnam War. Simon won an OPC award for his reporting on Hanois 1972 spring offensive and was part of te CBS News team which won a 1975 OPC award for Best Radio Spot News for coverage of the end of the war. He covered the final six weeks of the war and was on one of the last helicopters out of Saigon in 1975. Simon received another OPC award two years later for his coverage of Egyptian President Anwar el Sadat's journey to Jerusalem.

During his first tour in CBS News London bureau (1969-71), he extensively covered the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Simon joined CBS News in 1967 as a reporter/assignment editor based in New York. He covered campus unrest and inner city riots, as well as the Democratic and Republican National Conventions.

Simon served as an American Foreign Service officer (1964-67). He was a Fulbright scholar in France and a Woodrow Wilson scholar.

He was born on May 29, 1941, in the Bronx, N.Y. Simon was graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Brandeis University in 1962 with a degree in history. He and his wife, Francoise, live outside Tel Aviv. Their daughter, Tanya, is a producer for CBS News' 48 Hours in New York.