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William Simon

Sport: Olympic Executive

Born: November 27, 1927

Died: June 3, 2000

Town: Paterson


William Edward Simon was born November 27, 1927 in Paterson. The son of an insurance executive, he attended Newark Academy and then served in the military before earning a degree from Lafayette College. A financial wizard with a keen understanding of government, he rose to the top level of Salomon Brothers. He was one of the pioneers of the leveraged buyout and a founder of the modern conservative movement in America.

Throughout his school years and for decades after, William was a great proponent of sports. A fieldhouse at Newark Academy was named in honor of him.

During the 1970s, William served as Secretary of the Treasury in the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations. Knowing his love of sports, Major League Baseball invited him to throw out the first ball of the 1975 World Series on behalf of President Ford. That year he convinced Ford to ignore New York City’s request for a federal bailout—a position from which Ford ultimately had to backtrack.

After leaving government service WIllliam became treasurer for the U.S. Olympic Committee and, in 1981, became president of the USOC. He had been instrumental in pushing forward the 1980 Olympic boycott.

William worked with Peter Ueberroth to make the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles a big money-maker, and used those profits to establish the U.S. Olympic Foundation, which he chaired for a dozen years He later served on the boards of the Basketball Hall of Fame, Tennis Hall of Fame, Women’s Sports Foundation and World Cup 94 organizing committee.

William and his wife, Carol, lived for many years in the town of Harding in Morris County. He passed away in Santa Barbara at age 72 from a lung ailment.


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