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David Simon: The Audacity of Despair

Wed, September 14th, 2016
7:30 pm

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David Simon: The Audacity of Despair

David Simon is a Baltimore-based journalist, author and television producer.  Born in Washington, he came to Baltimore in 1983 to work as a crime reporter at The Baltimore Sun.  While at the paper, he reported and wrote two works of narrative non-fiction, Homicide: A Year On The Killing Streets and The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood, the former an account of a year spent with the city homicide squad and the latter, a year spent on a West Baltimore drug corner.

Homicide became the basis for the NBC drama, which aired from 1993 to 1999 and for which Simon worked as a writer and producer after leaving The Sun in 1995. The Corner became an HBO miniseries and won three Emmy Awards in 2000.  The Wire, a subsequent HBO drama, aired from 2002 to 2008 and depicted a dystrophic American city contending with a fraudulent drug war, the loss of its industrial base, political and educational systems incapable of reform and a media culture oblivious to all of the above.

Simon served as a writer and executive producer of HBO’s Generation Kill, a miniseries depicting U.S. Marines in the early days of the Iraq conflict.  Simon also co-created the HBO series Treme, following life in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.Treme was nominated for two Emmys, Outstanding Writing in a Miniseries and Outstanding Miniseries. Simon’s most recent project, the HBO miniseries Show Me a Hero, tells the story of Yonkers Mayor Nick Wasicsko who finds himself thrust into racial controversy when a federal court orders to build a small number of low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods.

The event is first in the Class of ’71 Public Affairs Forum on Inequality and is co-sponsored by the Public Affairs Forum, the Lecture Committee, and the Program in Leadership Studies.

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