Washington Post journalist Darran Simon was found dead in his Washington apartment on April 9, according to reports.
No cause has been named in Simon’s death, according to The Washington Post, which published an obituary on April 10 that described the 43-year-old English-born reporter as “a journalist who developed an expertise reporting on trauma during a wide-ranging career.”
A newsroom memo from Tracy Grant, the Washington Post’s managing editor, earlier confirmed Simon’s death, the Washingtonian reported.
“We are deeply saddened to report that yesterday, Darran Simon was found dead in his apartment,” the memo stated, according to the report.
“Darran joined us as a DC government and politics reporter last month from CNN,” the memo continued. “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.”
The subject of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Virus pandemic has gripped headlines and consumed reporters, who like many, face challenges working amid lockdowns.
The Post Guild, a union for the outlet’s employees, circulated an email remembering Simon and acknowledging the extraordinary pressure of these times.
“We know this tragic news is difficult to absorb, especially at a time when we are under so much strain. We will do all that we can to provide support in whatever form you need. No story or work assignment is more important than you and your wellbeing,” the union leadership wrote, the Washingtonian reported.
Their note included the National Suicide Hotline number, which is 800-273-TALK (8255).
A CNN colleague of Simon’s, correspondent Nick Valencia, called him a “deep person” and posted a group photo at what he said was a training session on reporting from hostile environments.
“We did hostile environment training in 2019. This is one of the only photos I took. I’m glad I did. Rest In Peace,” Valencia wrote in a tweet.
“I looked up to him so much because he was a great storyteller who truly focused his work on people,” wrote another colleague of Simon’s with CNN affiliation, Nicole Chavez.
“I enjoyed seeing him fill his notebooks with notes, to-do lists and his signature post-its in handwriting that I could never decipher,” she said of him, adding that he saw his new position at The Washington Post as “his dream job.”
“Darran was born in London and raised in Guyana, New York, and New Jersey,” the Washington Post PR department wrote on Jan. 30, announcing Simon was joining the team.
“Darran comes to us from CNN, where he is a senior news writer, charged with finding stories about people behind the headlines. He has written about librarians in Philadelphia using Narcan to help heroin addicts; an enduring friendship between the mother of a slain teacher at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and one of his students; and a real estate tycoon turned python hunter who wants to rid the Everglades of the invasive snake,” the PR team wrote.
Simon also worked as a reporter for the Miami Herald, the Times-Picayune, and the Philadelphia Inquirer, according to the Post.
“All the traveling has made him a foodie,” the PR team said of him. “His stint in New Orleans created a love for live music, especially jazz.”