October 16, 2007

Media Advisory — Jeanne Simon papers

Reporters and photographers are welcome to attend the opening preview of the Jeanne Hurley Simon Papers at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 17. The event is in Southern Illinois University Carbondale's J.W. Corker Lounge, adjacent to the Student Center Ballrooms.

Morris Library's Special Collections Research Center houses the Jeanne Hurley Simon Papers. Jeanne Simon, the first wife of Paul Simon Public Policy Institute founder Paul Simon, died in February 2000. The couple's daughter, Sheila Simon, a clinical assistant professor at the SIU School of Law, will speak at the opening preview. Pamela Hackbart-Dean, director of Special Collections, Walter D. Ray, political papers archivist and curator of the collection, and institute Director Mike Lawrence also will speak.

The preview precedes the Jeanne Hurley Simon Lecture Series later Wednesday. Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne M. Burke speaks at 7 p.m. in Student Center Ballroom D. The general public may view papers and photographs from the collection beginning at 6 p.m.

The materials cover Simon's life from her time as a young attorney, a legislator in the Illinois General Assembly, up to her appointment by President Bill Clinton to chair the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science.

A graduate of Barat College and the Northwestern University School of Law, Jeanne Simon served as an assistant state's attorney in Cook County beginning in 1952. Elected to the Illinois General Assembly in 1956 and 1958, she married fellow legislator Paul Simon in 1960 — the only wedding of two sitting Illinois state legislators. Upon leaving the legislature in 1961, Simon actively participated in her husband's subsequent campaigns for lieutenant governor, U.S. representative, and the United States' Senate, in addition to Paul Simon's 1988 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.