Washington Post journalist Darran Simon was found dead in his D.C. apartment on Thursday, April 9, the Washingtonian reported. According to the outlet, a newsroom memo from Tracy Grant, the Washington Post’s managing editor for staff development and standards, confirmed Simon’s death. His cause of death has not been announced.
Simon joined the Washington Post in late January as a reporter focusing on D.C. government and politics. He was 43 years old, born in London, and raised in Guyana, New York, and New Jersey.
The newsroom memo confirmed Darran Simon was found dead in his apartment and described Darran’s short time with Washington Post:
Darran joined us as a DC government and politics reporter last month from CNN. He made an immediate impact on his arrival. Darran proved himself to be dogged, as when asking Mayor Bowser questions at her daily press briefings, and deeply humane, as when he told the story of a former “Jeopardy” contestant who died of covid-19. He was entrusted to write several of Metro’s coronavirus leadalls, in large part because he worked so well with everyone and because he was a clear and fluid writer.
Grant’s memo acknowledged the difficult time employees are already facing and offered them resources to cope with the sudden loss of their colleague. She said: “Our sympathy goes out to Darran’s family; we will share information about how best to express your condolences shortly.”
Before the Washington Post, Simon Worked at CNN as a Senior Writer
Before starting his new job with the Washington Post, Simon worked at CNN Digital as a senior writer. As per his CNN bio, Simon was involved in covering many major stories, “from the rebuilding of public schools in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to mudslides and wildfires in California and violence in Camden, New Jersey.”
Before his time with CNN, Simon worked for publications including Newsday, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Times-Picayune, and The Miami Herald.
Simon was a journalism graduate University of Rhode Island and Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma 2019 Ochberg Fellow.
Simon’s Friends & Colleagues Reacted to the News of His Death
The Washington Post’s Metro Editor, Mike Semel, tweeted:
He wrote, “One of my greatest recent joys was offering Darran the job at The Post. He was so delighted. In his short time here, he wowed us with his talent, smile, drive and wisdom. We miss him.” Readers can click the link in Semel’s tweet to read Simon’s obituary.
Washington Post writer Fenit Nirappil tweeted about his colleague’s death:
He said, “In just five weeks as my beat partner covering D.C. politics, Darran Simon proved himself to be a compassionate, dogged and humble journalist. His death is devastating.”
S. Mitra Kalita, who worked with Simon at CNN, tweeted:
She tweeted: “[Darran Simon] was a beloved CNN colleague. My last conversation with him was, of course, about doing journalism better. We will miss him so. A pic of him early in his stint here and an excerpt from [Cathy Straight] note to staff moments ago.”
NBC 4 Washington journalist Mark Segraves tweeted:
His tweet reads, “We’ve lost a friend, a colleague & a fine reporter. We were just getting to know [Darran Simon]. He was kind, smart, well dressed & carried a wonderful smile. A welcomed addition to our local DC press corps. Rest easy, Darran, we’ll take it from here.”
Two other colleagues shared their reactions:
The National Association of Black Journalists’ 21st president, Sarah Glover, said, “I’m in disbelief and shocked to hear of [Darran Simon’s] passing… a bright light gone too soon. He was a good, kind man and reporter. Rest In Peace.”
The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Melanie Burney said, “This is devastating news. [Darran Simon] was like a little brother. He was a talented reporter with a bright future. A nice guy and a decent human being. He will be missed. Rest in peace, my friend.”