Richard L. Simon

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Richard Leo "Dick" Simon (March 6, 1899 – July 29, 1960) was an American businessman. He is a Columbia University graduate, co-founder of the publishing house Simon & Schuster, and father of world famous singer-songwriter Carly Simon.

Early life[edit]

Simon was born in 1899 to a Jewish family in New York City. His father, Leo Simon, was a wealthy feather-and-silk manufacturer and milliner of German Jewish origin and his mother Anna Meier was a German Jewish immigrant.[1][2] He was the eldest of five siblings (Henry, Alfred, George, and Elizabeth) who were all named after British Monarchs.[1] His brother George T. Simon was a famous music critic and author. His brother Henry W. Simon became editor and vice-president at Simon & Schuster and his sister Elizabeth Seligman was a physician.[2] Simon's parents joined the Ethical Culture movement, which emphasized universal morality, and sent Simon to the Ethical Cultural School and then Columbia University.[1]

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.[1]


Simon began his career as a sugar importer and then became a piano salesperson. It was while selling pianos that he met Max Schuster. Simon then became a salesperson for the publisher Boni & Liveright where he quickly rose to sales manager.[2]

Simon pooled $8,000 together with Max Schuster to publish the first book of crossword puzzles in 1924.[3]

Simon was a pioneer in emphasizing marketing, merchandising, promotion and advertising for booksellers. Simon wrote a weekly column and advertorial in Publisher's Weekly called the Inner Sanctum. His partner Max Schuster wrote a column of the same name for the New York Times. The title was also the name of the editorial room between their offices.[2]

Michael Korda said that when he arrived to work as an editor at Simon and Schuster in 1958, he found a bronze plaque on his desk designed by Richard Simon that said, "Give the reader a break." This was a reminder to every editor that their job was to make things easy and clear for the reader as possible.[3]

Simon retired in 1957 after having two heart attacks.[2]

Personal life[edit]

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.[1] (Andrea also asserted she was of partial "Moorish" origin based on her mother's exotic looks).[1]

They had four children:


Simon died in 1960 after suffering a heart attack. Simon was a resident of Fieldston, an area within Riverdale in the Bronx.[4]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Weller, Sheila Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon--and the Journey of a Generation Washington Square Press 2009
  2. ^ a b c d e "Richard Leo Simon Dies at 61". The New York Times. 30 July 1960. Retrieved 20 September 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Korda, Michael (1999). Another life : a memoir of other people (1st ed.). New York: Random House. ISBN 0679456597. 
  4. ^ 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."