It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Kirk Simon over the weekend.  We will celebrate his life at a memorial service on Wednesday, April 18th, 2018 at 4:00 pm at Riverside Memorial Chapel, 180 West 76th Street, New York.  We invite family and friends to join us.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Jane Goodall Institute (

With love,

Mina, Oliver, Allegra, Maya, and Ron 

Academy Award and Emmy Award-winning documentary film maker.

Kirk with Josh Groban

Kirk with Josh Groban


Kirk Simon is an Oscar and Emmy-winning producer and director of documentary films for broadcast television and theatrical distribution for the past thirty years. He has also received three additional Academy Award nominations in Documentary Feature and Short Subject categories and has won the duPont-Columbia Silver Baton.  His films have had extensive national broadcast on PBS, HBO and MTV.

Mr. Simon is the Producer/Director of YoungArts MASTERCLASS, an HBO series in which great artists mentor high school students.  Artists who have participated in three seasons to date include Wynton Marsalis, Placido Domingo, Josh Groban, Renee Fleming, Edward Albee, Alan Alda, Frank Gehry, Patti LuPone, Kathleen Turner, Bill T. Jones and Bobby McFerrin.  Each of the three seasons has garnered Primetime Emmy nominations.

For HBO, he was also responsible for numerous programs including the 14 part series Kindergarten (2001), which continues to be broadcast each morning on HBO Family.  More recently, HBO has broadcast the Oscar-winning documentary Strangers No More (2010) about the children of immigrant workers struggling through a new life in Tel Aviv.  Mr. Simon’s first film for HBO was Chimps: So Like Us (1989) with Dr. Jane Goodall, which required Mr. Simon to sleep in a tent on the shore of Lake Tanganyika for three weeks to make this Oscar nominated and Emmy-winning program. He was also responsible for the award-winning series Coming Out Stories on MTV’s LOGO that portrayed the emotional process of coming out in the LGTB community.  Entertainment Weekly wrote, “this touching series marks a high point for the network.”

For PBS, Mr. Simon has produced and/or directed programs for its premier series, such as American Masters, American Playhouse, American Experience, Masterpiece Theater and The National Geographic.  For American Masters, Mr. Simon produced the Emmy-nominated Buckminster Fuller: Thinking Out Loud in 1996 and the Oscar-nominated biography of Isaac Bashevis Singer in 1986. For National Geographic, shows produced and directed by Mr. Simon include both Cairo Unveiled as the season premiere of National Geographic Explorer on PBS in 1992 and Incredible Human Body, that presented remarkable documentary stories such as the first time human conception was shown on television and awake brain surgery.

Mr. Simon is a member of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Writer’s Guild of America,the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and the Producer's Guild of America. His films routinely are screened at the most prestigious film festivals around the world.