Jeanne Hurley Simon

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Jeanne Hurley Simon
Known for advocate of libraries and literacy

Jeanne Hurley Simon, the first wife of Senator Paul Simon and the mother of Illinois Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon, was a state and national public official in her own right.

A member of the Illinois General Assembly from 1957 to 1961, on April 21, 1960 she married fellow State Assemblyman Paul Simon, thus becoming the first two sitting members of that body that were married to each other. She did not seek reelection, later becoming a mother to Sheila and Martin Simon, a lawyer, an author, and supporting her husband when he served as the state's lieutenant governor from 1969 to 1973, during his failed gubernatorial bid in 1972, and his terms as congressman and United States Senator until 1997.

In recognition of her lifelong advocacy of libraries and literacy, President Bill Clinton appointed her in 1993 and 1997 to two terms as chairperson of the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, in which she served until her death from brain cancer in February 2000 at the age of 77.[1][2] A decade after her death, her daughter Sheila became Lieutenant Governor of Illinois.


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