Paul Simon, former United States Senator from Illinois, has long been a strong advocate of education in global affairs and the learning of international languages. Currently teaching at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Mr. Simon is the author of such books as A Hungry World, You Want to Change the World? So Change It, and The Tongue-Tied American. With his brother, the Rev. Arthur Simon, he is co-author of The Politics of World Hunger.
Mr. Simon served 12 years in the United States Senate, retiring in January of this year after choosing not to seek re-election. In his Senatorial career he was the author of a wide range of education reforms including The National Literacy Act (1991), the direct student loan program (1993), and the School-to-Work Opportunities Act (1994). His service in the Senate was the cap to a political career that began in 1954 at the age of 25 when he was elected to the Illinois House of Representatives and where he served eight years. Then he served in the Illinois Senate for the next eight years, after which he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, serving until January, 1973. In November, 1974, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving there until his election to the United States Senate in 1984.
While a member of the Illinois House he married Jeanne Hurley of Wilmette, Illinois, on April 21, 1960, who was also a member of the House, and they are the only husband-wife team in the history of the Illinois General Assembly. They have one daughter, Sheila, and one son, Martin.
Mr. Simon received the Best Legislator Award of Independent Voters of Illinois seven times, more than any other state legislator.
Mr. Simon was born in Eugene, Oregon, and attended public schools as well as the University of Oregon in Eugene. He also attended Dana College in Blair, Nebraska. At the age of 19, he purchased the Troy Tribune of Troy, Illinois, becoming the youngest editor-publisher in the nation, and in 1966, when he decided to devote full-time to writing and public service, he owned a chain of 14 weekly newspapers, which he then sold. He served in the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps, assigned as a special agent in Europe along the Iron Curtain. And he has taught at Sangamon University, Springfield, Illinois, and at the John F. Kennedy Institute of Politics, Harvard University.
His other books include Lovejoy--Martyr to Freedom, Lincoln's Preparation for Greatness, The Glass House, Beginnings, Let's Put America Back to Work, Winners and Losers, Advice and Consent, We Can Do Better, and Freedom's Champion: Elijah Lovejoy. With his wife, he is co-author of Protestant-Catholic Marriages Can Succeed.