The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 
 Paul Martin Simon

Paul Martin Simon

Birth
Eugene, Lane County, Oregon, USA
Death 9 Dec 2003 (aged 75)
Springfield, Sangamon County, Illinois, USA
Burial Makanda, Jackson County, Illinois, USA
Memorial ID 8168826 · View Source
Suggest Edits

US Congressman, US Senator, and Author. A member of the Democratic party, he served in the US House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985, and in US Senate from 1985 to 1997, and was noted for his distinctive appearance that included a bowtie and horn-rimmed glasses. Born in Eugene, Oregon his parents were Lutheran missionaries to China. After graduating from high school, he attended Concordia University, a Lutheran school in Portland, Oregon. He later attended the University of Oregon in Eugene and Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, but never graduated. After moving to Illinois, in 1948 he became the nation's youngest editor-publisher, of the renamed Troy Tribune in Troy, Illinois, eventually building a chain of 14 weekly newspapers. In 1951 he enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War, serving as intelligence officer, and was honorably discharged in 1953. In 1954 he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives, serving from January 1955 until January 1963, when he was elected to the Illinois State Senate. He rose to national attention in the 1960s, due in part to his well-researched book "Lincoln's Preparation for Greatness: The Illinois Legislative Years," the first book to exhaustively cite original source documents from Abraham Lincoln's eight years in the Illinois General Assembly. He went on to write over 20 books on a wide range of topics, including interfaith marriages (he was a Lutheran and his wife was a Catholic), global water shortages, US Supreme Court nomination battles that focused heavily on his personal experiences with Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas, his autobiography, and the slain Illinois minister, newspaper editor, and abolitionist Elijah Lovejoy. In 1969 he became Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, serving until 1973. In 1972 he ran for the Democratic nomination for Governor, but lost to Dan Walker, who went on to win the general election. Following his defeat, he founded the Public Affairs Reporting graduate program at Sangamon State University in Springfield, Illinois, which helped launch the careers of more than 500 journalists. He resumed his political career in 1974 when he was elected to Congress from Illinois's 24th congressional district, where he was re-elected four times. He was later redistricted to Illinois's 22nd congressional district. In 1984 he was elected to the US Senate, defeating three-term Republican incumbent Charles H. Percy in an upset election, and was re-elected for a second term in 1990. While serving in the Senate, he co-authored an unsuccessful Balanced Budget Amendment with Republican Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah. In 1988 he unsuccessfully sought the Democratic nomination for President but after weak showings in the primaries, he bowed out of the race. During the 1990s he opposed both the Republicans' Contract with America, and President Bill Clinton's welfare reforms. He was one of 21 Senators to vote against the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act. He also helped overhaul the college student loan program to allow students and their families to borrow directly from the federal government, thus saving money by not using private banks to disburse the loans. After retiring from the US Senate, he served as director of the future Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale in Carbondale, Illinois, which was renamed in his honor, and taught classes on politics, history and journalism. He died in Springfield, Illinois following heart surgery at the age of 75. His final book, "Our Culture of Pandering," was published in October 2003, two months before his death. His daughter, Sheila Simon, became the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in January 2011.

Bio by: William Bjornstad


Family Members

Spouse

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Paul Martin Simon?

Current rating:

39 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Peterborough K
  • Added: 9 Dec 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8168826
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Paul Martin Simon (29 Nov 1928–9 Dec 2003), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8168826, citing Rowan Cemetery, Makanda, Jackson County, Illinois, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .