Anderson Cooper: Bob Simon was a warrior poet

Remembering CBS correspondent Bob Simon
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    Remembering CBS correspondent Bob Simon

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Story highlights

  • CBS Correspondent Bob Simon died Wednesday in a car accident
  • Anderson Cooper says Bob saw everything with keen, fresh eyes

Anderson Cooper is the anchor of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°," which airs weeknights at 8 p.m. ET on CNN. The views expressed are his own.

(CNN)There was nothing simple about Bob Simon. Except that he was simply the best. The best writer. The best correspondent. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote of Gatsby, the best of the "whole damn bunch."

He'd started in Northern Ireland and never seemed to stop. Hurling himself into the breach. Into the pulse. And the pain -- time and time again.
How many plane rides? How many careening cars? How many kisses to loved ones goodbye? How many bullets? How many bombs? How many tragedies and tears?
    Bob saw everything with keen, fresh eyes. He died at 73, still curious, still doing the work, boarding the planes, asking the questions, writing the stories and making them sing.
    He was a warrior poet, a traveling wordsmith whose voice was shaped by all he'd seen.
    Vietnam. Somalia. South Africa. Bosnia. Haiti. Israel. Iraq. Barbarism, brutality, compassion, kindness -- Bob knew it's often intertwined. He bore witness, captured moments and saw details others routinely missed.
    He also wrote sentences we had not heard -- showed us stories we had not seen -- and we were lucky he came our way.
    For many of us, he was the correspondent we dreamed of being, the writer we wished we were. Not too long ago, he wrote a piece for "60 Minutes" about a choir in Kinshasa. In a place known for poverty, Bob found an ode to joy.
    On this sad, senseless day, perhaps it's best to remember that.