Washington Post reporter Darran Simon was found dead in his apartment on Thursday, according to a newsroom memo from Tracy Grant, the Post’s managing editor for staff development and standards.
Simon covered D.C. government and politics for The Post, according to a January 30 memo announcing his arrival at the newspaper.
Read the memo about his passing below:
“To our newsroom colleagues,
We are deeply saddened to report that yesterday, Darran Simon was found dead in his apartment.
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.
Before his stint at CNN, Darran reported for papers including The Philadelphia Inquirer, New York’s Newsday, the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Miami Herald. He wrote a variety of stories, from profiles of the people behind the headlines to deep accountability reporting.
Our sympathy goes out to Darran’s family; we will share information about how best to express your condolences shortly.
We know this tragic news may be difficult to absorb, especially during a time when we are already under a lot of strain. If you are struggling with your feelings or think you need help, please remember that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is available to everyone, including your family members. This free, confidential counseling service is available 24/7…”
The leadership of the Post Guild sent the following email:
We are deeply saddened to share that our friend and colleague Darran Simon passed away yesterday. Tracy Grant, Marty Baron and Local editor Mike Semel sent an email out this morning to the newsroom.
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. Please lean on us and each other if you need help.
Here is the Guild’s guide to phone and video therapy, which is free to you and your family through EAP, or can be accessed via Post insurance.
The national suicide hotline number is 800-273-TALK (8255). There are some highly trained people who answer this line who you can talk to no matter what you’re feeling.
If you need time to process and need some language on how to approach this with your boss, try something like:
- Hi there, I’m a little overwhelmed by this awful news about our colleague. I need to take a break for a little bit, and I’ll message you when I’m ready to be back to working.
- Hello! Given what Tracy just sent out, I’m going to take a mental health break for [tk time]. If there’s something urgent you need me for, please text me.
- Hey – So sorry, but I’m not feeling well. I need to call it quits for the rest of the day. I’ll be sure to put a sick day in Workday.
We get a lot of sick days, and you can use them to take a mental health day whenever you need one. You don’t have to specify it’s a mental health day.
You can join the #mental-wellness-team channel on the Guild Slack to ask questions about therapy and cost coverage. If you need assistance navigating insurance, ask us. We’re here to help you.
Fenit Nirrapil, who covers DC government and was Darran’s beat partner, is working closely with local editors on how we can support his family and offer our condolences. We will send out another e-mail as soon as we have guidance on how to best help. If you have any additional ideas or would like to assist, please email…
This is a difficult time for all of us — made more difficult with the loss of a dear colleague. Now more than ever, reach out to each other. And let’s all look out for one another.
Sending you all warmth and virtual hugs,
Post Guild leadership”