Political

The Life of Senator Paul Simon

"He attended the University of Oregon and Dana College in Blair, Nebraska, but never graduated" (Paul Simon). "At Nebraska’s then all-white Dana College, he led an effort to make the school’s admissions policies color-blind" (Wright, 16). "In 1948, at the end of his junior year, with financial backing from local business people Simon pursued a career as a newspaper editor and publisher in Troy, eventually building a chain of fourteen weeklies1, becoming the nations youngest editor-publisher of the renamed Troy Tribune" (Wright 18. Simon 4)). "That year his paper endorsed Thomas E. Dewey for president over Harry S. Truman" (Rosenbaum, 23). "His activism against gambling, prostitution, and government corruption while at the Troy Tribune forced the newly-elected governor, Adlai Stevenson, to take a stand on these issues, creating national exposure for Simon"(Paul Simon, 22). "He started small, with an editorial drive a municipal sewer system, and was promptly denounced as a socialist" (Wright, 20), and he "cultivated a reputation as an intellectual straight arrow"(Rosenbaum, 15).Rosenbaum reported that in 1951, an admiring reporter for another newspaper, The East St. Louis Journal, began an article about him this way: "You still can raise a lot of hell with a county printing press"(26). Simon served in the United States Army from 1951 to1953 during the Korean War, becoming an intelligence officer. Upon his discharge, he began his political career, "serving in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1953 to 1963" (Simon, 8), where "he ran his first race and began a 14-year tour in the Illinois Legislature. There he found a much higher order of inequities … and inequities. Unlike the usually more subtly corrupt he would later encounter in Washington, politicians in Illinois openly put their votes on the block.

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