He emigrated to the United States in 1848, making his home in Uhrichsville, Ohio. For several years, he followed business pursuits, but began to read law, and graduated from the Ohio Law College in Cleveland in 1861. He was admitted to the bar in Mount Vernon, Ohio, that same year. He opened a practise in New Philadelphia, Ohio, where he remained a year.
In 1862 he went to Washington, D.C., and opened a law office. In 1869, he was appointed recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia, holding that office until May 1878. In July 1881, he received the post of consul general in Egypt, which he resigned in May 1882. He made friendships with presidents Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley and Woodrow Wilson.
He was active in Jewish charitable and educational movements, and was a frequent lecturer on social, literary, and political topics. He wrote The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier, and Citizen (Philadelphia, 1895) and two biographies. He [was] very active in the Independent Order B'nai B'rith, of which he was president from 1903 to 1905.
- "Guide to the Papers of Simon Wolf (1836-1923), undated, 1868-1925*P-25". Findingaids.cjh.org. 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2012-08-18.
- "Guide to the Papers of Simon Wolf". cjh.org (Center for Jewish History, American Jewish Historical Society). Retrieved 13 December 2011. This source quotes from the Jewish Encyclopedia.
- "Everywhere You Look: German-American sites in Washington, D.C.: Simon Wolf". goethe.de (Goethe Institut). Retrieved 13 December 2011.
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Wilson, James Grant; Fiske, John, eds. (1889). "Wolf, Simon". Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: D. Appleton.
- Simon Wolf (1895). The American Jew as Patriot, Soldier and Citizen. The Levytype Company.