Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Paul Simon  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT

Born: November 29, 1928 in Eugene, Oregon


Illinois Connection

Paul M. Simon lived in Springfield, Makanda and Troy, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Paul M. Simon was an American politician from Illinois. He was a democrat and served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 1985. He is best known as the United States Senator for Illinois from 1985 to 1997. He was a former newspaper man and Illinois Lietuenant Governor. Simon was an unsuccessful candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1988. During the campaign, he briefly captured the national attention and was considered a major candidate. This led to an appearance on the popular television show ''Saturday Night Live'', co-hosting with celebrated singer Paul Simon.After his retirement from politics, he continued to play a role in public life by writing books, and through the Southern Illinois University Public Policy Institute. He founded the Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University in Carbondal ein 1997 and served as director. There, he taught classes on politics, history and journalism. The SIU Public Policy Institute was named for him after his death - The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.Simon was a prolific author. He came to national prominence in the 1960s, due in part to his well-researched book, ''Lincoln's Preparation for Greatness: The Illinois Legislative Years''. Despite being published 100 years after Abraham Lincoln's death, it was the first book to exhaustively cite original source documents from Lincoln's eight years in the General Assembly. He later went on to write more than 20 books on a wide range of topics, including interfaith marriages (he was a Lutheran and his wife, Jeanne, was a Catholic), global water shortages, United States Supreme Court nomination battles that focused heavily on his personal experiences with Robert Bork and Clarence Thomas (he was on the Senate Judiciary Committee during these hearings), his autobiography, and even a well-received book on slain Illinois preacher Elijah Lovejoy. His last book, ''Our Culture of Pandering'', was published in October 2003.Simon was noted for his distinctive professorial appearance that included a bow-tie and heavy-rimmed glasses.

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