Richard L. Simon
Simon was born in 1899 to a Jewish family in New York City. His father, Leo Simon, was a wealthy feather-and-silk manufacturer of German Jewish origin and his mother Anna Meier was a German Jewish immigrant. He was the eldest of five siblings (Henry, Alfred, George, and Elizabeth) who were all named after British Monarchs. His brother George T. Simon was a famous music critic and author. Simon's parents joined the Ethical Culture movement, which emphasized universal morality, and sent Simon to the Ethical Cultural School and then Columbia University.
Simon served in World War I and upon his return to the US, being a talented piano player, worked as a piano salesman before beginning his career as a book publisher.
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In 1935, Simon married Andrea Heinemann who worked as a switchboard operator at Simon & Schuster. Raised in Philadelphia, Andrea was the daughter of a Spanish-born, Roman Catholic mother, Asuncion Maria del Rio, and a German-speaking Swiss father who had abandoned the family. (Andrea also asserted she was of partial "Moorish" origin based on her mother's exotic looks).
They had four children:
- former opera Mezzo-soprano singer and New York real estate agent, Joanna Simon
- Broadway score writer Lucy Simon
- singer-songwriter Carly Simon
- photographer Peter Simon
- Weller, Sheila Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--and the Journey of a Generation Washington Square Press 2009
- Jackson, Nancy Beth. "If You're Thinking of Living In/Fieldston; A Leafy Enclave in the Hills of the Bronx", The New York Times, February 17, 2002. Accessed May 3, 2008. "After World War II, Richard Simon, founder of Simon & Schuster, bought a Georgian red-brick Baum house where he brought up his three musical daughters: Joanna, Lucy and Carly."