When we decided to write a book together about the history and impact of NCI-designated cancer centers since passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act, we both agreed that one of the first people we would interview was Joe Simone.

We had each known Joe for several decades, and his experience and reputation as a giant of oncology, his leadership in oncology quality assurance, and his role in the evolution and development of a number of NCI-designated cancer centers, made Joe a natural “go to” expert when researching the history of these centers.

So, when we began writing “Centers of the Cancer Universe: A Half-Century of Progress Against Cancer” in mid-2019 (due to be released this fall), Skip Trump jumped on a plane to meet with Joe in person.

This was planned to be the first of many face-to-face interviews but turned out to be our only one thanks to the travel restrictions instituted during the coming COVID-19 pandemic.