John Simpson Biography

John Cody Fidler-Simpson is a BBC News international reporter and world affairs, editor. He has spent his whole career with the BBC, reporting from over 120 countries, including thirty conflict zones, and interviewing numerous international leaders. He attended Magdalene College in Cambridge, where he studied English and served as the editor of Granta magazine.

How old is John Simpson? – Age

He was born on 9 August 1944 in Cleveleys, Lancashire, England. He is 77 years as of 2021.

Where did John Simpson go to school? – Education

He attended Dulwich College Preparatory School and St Paul’s School before going to Magdalene College, Cambridge, to study English and serve as the editor of Granta magazine. He participated in the Magdalene University Challenge team in 1965. Simpson joined as a trainee sub-editor at BBC radio news a year later.

John Simpson – Family

Simpson was born in Cleveleys, Lancashire, but the following week was moved to his mother’s “bomb-damaged house in London.” In his story, he states that his father was an anarchist. He spent ten years of his childhood in the Suffolk town of Dunwich.

John Simpson’s Wife

He has two daughters from his previous marriage to American Diane Petteys, Julia, and Eleanor. In 1996, he married South African television producer Dee (Adele) Kruger. Rafe, their son, was born in January 2006. Simpson, whose grandmother was born in Ireland, is a dual British and Irish citizen who returned to London in 2005 after spending several years in Ireland. Simpson acknowledged utilizing a legitimate tax avoidance plan to acquire his London house in 2004 but claimed that he will quit the scheme and pay all relevant domestic taxes on its sale in an interview with the Irish Independent.

He is a devoted Anglican who attends Chelsea Old Church.

John Simpson The BBC journalist
John Simpson The BBC journalist

What is Simpson’s Salary?

His salary is $780,000 annually.

Simpson Net Worth

His net worth is $6 million.

Simpson Career

In 1970, Simpson joined the BBC as a correspondent. When asked if he was going to call an election, the then-prime minister, Harold Wilson, was enraged and struck Simpson in the stomach.

In 1980-1, Simpson was the BBC’s political editor. In 1981–82, he hosted the Nine O’Clock News, and in 1982, he became diplomatic editor. He’d worked as a correspondent in South Africa, Brussels, and Dublin, among other places. In 1988, he became the BBC’s foreign affairs editor and hosted Simpson’s World, a weekly current affairs show.

In November 1969, he interviewed Mutesa II, the exiled King of Buganda, only hours before he died of alcohol intoxication in his London residence. Although the stated reason of death was suicide, several speculated about the assassination. Simpson told the police the next day, that the king, a fellow graduate of Magdalene College, Cambridge, had been sober and in high spirits, but the police did not pursue this line of inquiry. On 1 February 1979, he returned from Paris to Tehran with exiled Ayatollah Khomeini, heralding the Iranian Revolution as millions crowded the streets of the capital. He escaped gunshots during the Tiananmen Square tragedy in Beijing in 1989. Later that year, Simpson reported on the fall of Ceauşescu’s dictatorship in Bucharest. Before being dismissed by the government, he spent the early part of the 1991 Gulf War in Baghdad.
Simpson documented the Kosovo War in 1999 from Belgrade, where he was one of only a few journalists who stayed after the government ejected journalists from NATO nations at the start of the conflict.
Two years later, he was among the first reporters to enter Afghanistan in 2001, famously wearing a burqa, and then Kabul, as part of the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.
In Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe’s soldiers were on the lookout for Simpson. Just four days before his killing, he gave an interview with Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. Fortuyn was dissatisfied with Simpson’s questioning and sent him out barely five minutes after the interview began.
He was the first BBC journalist to respond to queries from internet users in a combat zone via BBC News Online.
He was injured in a friendly fire incident while reporting from Northern Iraq on a non-embedded basis during the 2003 Iraq war when a US warplane attacked the convoy of American and Kurdish soldiers he was with. The attack was captured on video, and one of Simpson’s team members was murdered, leaving him deaf in one ear. In October 2007, at London’s Frontline Club, Simpson was questioned about his career by other journalists. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the explorer, and Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, the round-the-world yachtsman, were among the guests. The group traveled on three journeys, each experiencing the adventure field of the other. Simpson, Fiennes, and Knox-Johnston went on a news-gathering expedition to Afghanistan in the first episode, which broadcast on March 27, 2009. The crew reported from the Tora Bora mountain complex and the Khyber Pass. The three also embarked on a journey around Cape Horn and a sled-hauling expedition through the deep-frozen Frobisher Bay in Canada’s far north. Simpson traveled with the rebels during their westward push in Libya in 2011, reporting from the front lines and coming under fire numerous times. Simpson’s Panorama special, ‘John Simpson: 50 Years on the Frontline,’ aired in 2016, reviewing the people and places that have had the greatest effect on him and sharing his ideas on the future difficulties. He said in 2018 that a previous boss of BBC News attempted to push him out of the corporation. He did the same thing to a number of well-known broadcasters, claiming that the news department was choked at the top by the elderly.”


Simpson has earned several honors, including a CBE in 1991 for his contribution to the Gulf War honors list, an International Emmy for his BBC Ten O’Clock News broadcast on the fall of Kabul, the Golden Nymph at the Cannes Film Festival, a Peabody award in the United States, and three BAFTAs.

In 2000, he was made an honorary fellow of his former Cambridge college, Magdalene, and in 2005, he became the first Chancellor of Roehampton University.

Several universities have granted honorary doctorates on him, including De Montfort University, Suffolk College at the University of East Anglia, Nottingham, Dundee, Southampton, Sussex, St Andrews, Exeter, and Leeds. He has earned the Ischia International Journalism Award as well as the Bayeux-Calvados War Correspondents Award. He was appointed a Freeman of the City of London in June 2011. Simpson was honored by the City of Westminster in May 2012 at a Marylebone tree planting event.



  • Moscow Requiem (1981).
  • A Fine and Private Place (1983)
  • Midnight in Moscow (2018)


  • The Disappeared: Voices from a Secret War, with Jana Bennett, (1985)
  • Behind Iranian Lines (1988)
  • Despatches from the Barricades (1990)
  • Strange Places, Questionable People (1998)
  • A Mad World, My Masters (2000)
  • News From No Man’s Land (2002)
  • The Wars Against Saddam: Taking the Hard Road to Baghdad (2004)
  • Days from a Different World: A Memoir of Childhood (2005)
  • Not Quite the World’s End: A Traveller’s Tales (2007)
  • Twenty Tales From The War Zone (2007)
  • Unreliable Sources (2010)
  • We Chose to Speak of War and Strife (2016)

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!