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James Harris SIMONS

Primary Position:
Chairman
Primary Company:
Renaissance Technologies
Estimated Net Worth:
At least $14.3 billion
Source of Wealth:
Self-Made
Age:
78
Birthday:
April 1938
Religion:
Jewish
Nationality:
United States
Hometown:
Brookline, Massachusetts, United States
Marital Status:
Married

Biography

After graduation, Simons taught mathematics at MIT and Harvard University. In 1961, he and a few classmates from MIT invested in a Colombian floor tile and pipe company. In 1964, during the Vietnam War, became a Code Breaker for the U.S. Department of Defense. In 1968, joined Stony Brook University and served as the Chairman of its Mathematics Department. In 1973, the Columbian floor tile and pipe company was sold. In 1978, Simons left Stony Brook University and started Monemetric. He formed a private ...

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Education History

Institution Name:
University of California, Berkeley
Qualification Name:
Ph.D.
Education Type:
Graduate
Start Date:
 
End Date:
1961
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Interesting Facts

Simons has lost two of his five children. He had two sons, Nathaniel and Paul, with his first wife, Barbara. With his second wife, Marilyn, Simons had Elizabeth, Audrey and Nick. Paul Simons, an avid bike rider, died in 1996 in a car accident when he was 34. Simons' philanthropic foundation, Paul Simons Foundation is named after Paul. His youngest son, Nick, drowned in Bali in 2003, when he was 24.

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Interests, Passion, Hobbies

Kind of Interests, Passion and Hobbies: Philanthropy
Description: Generous philanthropist is the Co-Founder and Chairman of Simons Foundation and the Co-Founder and President of Paul Simons Foundation. Foundations primarily support educational related causes. Simons has contributed more than $1.2 billion to the Simons Foundation. Simons supports teachers and scholars. Through Math for America, Simons donates $15,000 a year to deserving public school math and science teachers across the New York to make teaching a viable, rewarding and respected career choice.

Kind of Interests, Passion and Hobbies: Travel
Description: Simons has been known to fly his employees and their families for weekend trips; reportedly he once flew more than 300 people to Bermuda.

Kind of Interests, Passion and Hobbies: Art
Description: Avid art lover, his office is decorated with paintings of ancient Greeks like Archimedes and Socrates teaching mathematics. Simons reportedly has a painting of a lynx killing a rabbit. He said, "I used to have it in my house... My wife didn't particularly like it."

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Philanthropy

Giving Profile: Generous philanthropist whose lifetime giving exceeds $1.2 billion. In 1994, Simons and his wife, Marilyn Simons, established the Simons Foundation, which primarily supports educational related causes. Simons serves as Chairman of the Simons Foundation. In 2013, the foundation had assets exceeding $2.1 billion and donated more than $184 million in 2012. In 2005, Simons co-founded the Nick Simons Foundation in memory of his son, Nick, who died on a leisure trip to Bali, Indonesia in 2003. In 2006, Simons and his wife, Marilyn Simons established the Nick Simons Institute, which trains rural healthcare workers in Nepal, Kathmandu. Simons serves as the President of the Nick Simons Foundation. In 2014, the foundation had assets exceeding $60 million and donated more than $2.6 million; gives primarily to humanitarian and social causes. Recipients include: Nick Simons Institute, Patan Hospital, American Himalayan Foundation and Himalayan Cataract Project. The couple also co-founded the Paul Simons Foundation, named after their son, Paul, whom they lost in a car accident in 1996. Serves as President of the Paul Simons Foundation. In 2014, the foundation had assets exceeding $49 million and donated more than $1.3 million; gives primarily to social and educational causes. Notable recipient is the Avalon Park and Preserve. The couple funded the Avalon Park, a 130-acre nature preserve at the Stony Brook University through the Simons Foundation. In 2004, Simons founded Math for America, a non-profit organization established to improve mathematics and science education. Simons has also donated at least $30 million to autism research; reportedly the Simons Foundation has pledged to invest $100 million more into autism research. The Simons Foundation has made several gifts to Cornell University; supported the Cornell University Library's arXiv program, which is an open-access digital archive of scientific papers and by providing grants to faculty. Simons has established the "Simons Investigators Award", which is given by the Simons Foundation to encourage scientists. In 2011, the couple donated at least $11 million to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, supporting autism causes. In 2011, Simons and Charles Simonyi donated at least $100 million to Institute for Advanced Study through the Simons Foundation. In 2013, Cornell University established the "James H. and Marilyn H. Simons Graduate Fellowship", in honor of the Simons, who made a commitment of $2.5 million through the Simons Foundation. In 2013, the Simons Foundation donated to the Stony Brook Children's Hospital.

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