Simon E. Bourgin, journalist, policy adviser, dies at 99

October 4, 2013

Simon E. Bourgin, a former Newsweek bureau chief, science policy adviser at the U.S. Information Agency and a deputy press secretary of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, died Aug. 20 at a care center in Ely, Minn. He was 99.

The cause was complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said his  friend and executor, Mark Brodsky.

Mr. Bourgin was a special correspondent covering Central and Eastern Europe for Time and Life  magazines from 1946 to 1956. He then spent four years as chief of Newsweek’s West Coast bureau in Los Angeles, where he interviewed filmmakers such as Cecil B. DeMille, Orson Welles and Stanley Kubrick.

Mr. Bourgin was assistant to the president of the national security think tank RAND Corp. in California before working at USIA from 1963 to 1975.

He was at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from 1975 to 1987, when he became a consultant at the Aspen Institute, a nonprofit organization that conducts seminars and policy programs. He retired in 2009.

The son of Jewish immigrants from Russia, Simon Eliot Bourgin was born in Ely and was a 1936 graduate of the University of Chicago. Early in his career, he worked as a correspondent for the Foreign Policy Association in New York and was a speechwriter at government agencies.

During World War II, he was an Army Air Forces intelligence officer in Europe and also a correspondent for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.

He published a memoir in 2010. He moved to Ely from Washington in 2011.

His wife of 34 years, Mariada Comer Bourgin, died in 2005. Survivors include two stepchildren, Walter Arensberg of Washington and Ann Arensberg of Salisbury, Conn.; and two grandchildren.

— Megan McDonough

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