A 2010 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius grant,” David Simon is best known as a screenwriter, producer and creator of several critically acclaimed television series including Homicide: Life on the Street (1993–1999), The Wire (2002–2008) and Treme (2010–2013).
Over the course of its five seasons, the George Foster Peabody Award-winning drama series, The Wire, presented a panoramic portrait of a struggling Baltimore, immersing viewers in the gritty underbelly of the city’s drug trade, police department, dockyards, city hall, local newspaper and public schools. In 2006, Jacob Weisberg of Slate called it “the best TV show ever broadcast in America.”
In 2008, Simon served as a writer and executive producer of HBO’s Generation Kill, a miniseries depicting US Marines in the early days of the Iraq conflict. The series was nominated for a total of 11 Emmy Awards, winning three in 2009.
Simon’s Treme, which received a 2011 Writers Guild Award nomination, is set against the backdrop of post-Katrina New Orleans as residents work to reconstruct their community. Treme (pronounced Truh-may) is the name of one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, and an historically important home of African-American music and culture.
From 1983 to 1995, Simon was a police reporter with The Baltimore Sun. In 1988, he took a leave of absence to write Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets. Published in 1991, the Edgar Award-winning account of a year inside the Baltimore Police Department Homicide Unit became the basis for NBC’s Homicide: Life on the Street, which was broadcast from 1993 to 1999.
Another leave of absence in 1993 led to The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood. Co-authored with Edward Burns, the true account of life in a West Baltimore community dominated by an open-air drug market was named a Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times. Simon then co-wrote and produced The Corner as a six-hour miniseries for HBO. That production, which aired in 2000, won an Emmy Award for best miniseries.
Simon is the 2014 recipient of the Ian McClellan Hunter Award for Career Achievement from the Writers Guild of America, East.