Paul Simon Biography

Paul Simon is a popular American musician and singer-songwriter. This biography profiles his childhood, family, personal life, career, achievements and some interesting facts.

Quick Facts

Birthday: October 13, 1941

Nationality: American

Famous: Jewish Actors Jewish Singers

Age: 78 Years, 78 Year Old Males

Sun Sign: Libra

Also Known As: Paul Frederic Simon

Born in: Newark, New Jersey, U.S.

Famous as: Singer, Songwriter

Height: 5'3" (160 cm), 5'3" Males


Spouse/Ex-: Carrie Fisher, Edie Brickell

father: Louis (1916–1995)

mother: Belle (1910–2007)

siblings: Eddie Simon

children: Harper Simon

U.S. State: New Jersey

More Facts

education: Queens College, City University of New York

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Paul Simon is one of the most successful and respected songwriters of the rock era. He rose to fame in the mid-60s with most of his songs being sensible and melodious. He is best known for his works that were produced after him joining hands with Art Garfunkel. The duo, which would go on to become famous, was formed in the year 1964. Some of their collaborative works include ‘The Sound of Silence’, ‘Mrs. Robinson’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. After parting ways with Garfunkel, Simon went on to establish a successful solo career. He even starred in the movie ‘One-Trick Pony’, which was written by him. During the course of his successful career, he won many awards including sixteen Grammys. Simon’s success story involves hard work, struggles and rivalry that have inspired budding rock musicians.

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Childhood & Early Life
  • Paul Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey, USA on October 13, 1941. He was the first born child of his parents and has a younger brother, Eddie.
  • While his father Louis Simon was an educator, his mother Belle Simon taught English at an elementary school. When Simon was a few months old, they moved to Flushing, Queens in New York.
  • Right from his childhood, Simon had passion for baseball, jazz and folk music. His parents played a key role in him developing passion for music. He also had a great spiritual influence from his mother who brought him up in accordance with the Jewish custom and heritage.
  • When Simon was 11 years old, he met Art Garfunkel, and the two soon became friends and later discovered that they shared a common interest –music. They both formed a harmony duo, much like their favorite duo, The Everly Brothers. They then made their stage debut at a junior-high school talent show.
  • They both were enrolled at Forest Hills High School and spent their time together, composing music. In 1955, the duo wrote a song together, ‘The Girl for Me’, which became their first copyrighted song.
  • Simon graduated in 1963 with a major in English Literature. He later joined Brooklyn Law School but dropped out after some time. He then once again started focusing on his passion which was music.
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  • Simon’s career in music took off at a tender age of eleven when he performed along with Garfunkel for an 'Alice in Wonderland' production. From then on they started performing as a rock duo under the name, 'Tom and Jerry'.
  • Some of the initial hits of the duo include 'Our Song' and 'That's My Story'. In 1964, the duo impressed the executive of Columbia Records, Clive Davis, who immediately signed them for an album.
  • Columbia Records registered the duo by their real name and released their first long play, ‘Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M’. Unfortunately, the album did not perform well on the music charts.
  • Dismayed by the failure of his debut album, Simon headed to Europe. There he collaborated with Bruce Woodley, a member of the Australian rock band, ‘the Seekers’. Together they composed a few songs like ‘Red Rubber Ball’, ‘I Wish You Could Be Here’, and ‘Cloudy’.
  • After he returned to the US, a producer named Tom Wilson reworked on his debut album and released it as a single under the title, ‘The Sound of Silence’. The album became a massive hit. Its second volume was released as ‘The Sounds of Silence’, on which Simon once again worked with Garfunkel.
  • The duo released numerous chartbusters right after their second LP. Meanwhile, they contributed to the soundtrack of the iconic film by Mike Nichols, ‘The Graduate’, which was a smash hit.
  • With back-to-back hits, Simon-Garfunkel was labeled as one of the most popular and influential duos of the era. But as they reached new musical heights, their partnership started to weaken.
  • Simon & Garfunkel gave their fans their last album, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ in 1970. With its innovative style of composition, the album peaked at music charts. The title song became the cultural anthem for the youth.
  • Simon-Garfunkel duo parted ways and moved on to build their respective career in different fields. Simon stuck to his music career and began working to impart new dimensions to rock music.
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  • In 1972, Simon recorded a self-titled solo album that included songs like ‘Mother and Child Reunion’ and 'Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard'. The tracks gave birth to a new style of music which was quite distinct from his previous works, and earned rave reviews from the initially skeptical critics.
  • In 1980, Simon stepped into the field of filmmaking. Inspired by the appearance of Woody Allen in the film ‘Annie Hall’, Simon wrote and starred in his movie, ‘One-Trick Pony’. He also recorded a soundtrack for the film. The movie tanked at the box office, but the soundtrack yielded the hit single, ‘Late in the Evening’.
  • In 1981, he reunited with Garfunkel for a free concert in New York’s Central Park. The concert album was released in 1982 and was so successful that the duo decided to record another album together. The plan brought up old scars and led to many years of estrangement.
  • The album ‘Hearts and Bones’ would have marked their reunion but eventually became Simon's solo album. Despite having some melodious tracks, the album was a commercial flop.
  • Simon’s career was revitalized with the Grammy-nominated studio albums, ‘You’re the One’ (2000), ‘Surprise’ (2006) and ‘So Beautiful or So What’ (2011). Also, all of these were a commercial success.
  • He also had a long-time association with the TV show ‘Saturday Night Live’. He has so far appeared on the show for about 15 times.
As A Musician
  • Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. – This was Simon-Garfunkel’s first LP since their days as the teen harmony duo, ‘Tom & Jerry’. The tracks of the album were composed on high-octane and had infused the style of pop-folk music. The album released in March 1964 and included tracks like ‘Sun Is Burning’, ‘You Can Tell the World’, ‘Bleecker Street’, etc.
  • Sounds of Silence –This was the duo’s second album and it sounded soothing, unlike their first record. Released in 1965, the album included chartbuster tracks like ‘Kathy's Song’, ‘The Sound of Silence’, ‘Richard Cory’, and ‘I Am a Rock’.
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water – This was one of the biggest-selling albums of its decade. Apart from the gospel-flavored title track, most of the other tracks were composed using the style, that the duo had made use of earlier. The album was released in 1970 and held the number one position for two and a half months from the day of its release. It featured on various charts for years, and sold more than five million copies. Ironically, the album marked the end of one of the most famous musical duos, even after achieving an overwhelming success.
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  • Mrs. Robinson – This track is from the duo's fourth LP, ‘Bookends’. The track was later used in the film, ‘The Graduate’. It holds the record for being the first rock song to win a Grammy.
Awards & Achievements
  • Grammy (1968) – Simon & Garfunkel were felicitated with two of this prestigious award for the track ‘Mrs. Robinson’, under the categories Best Contemporary Vocal Duo and Record of the year.
  • Grammy (1968) – This Grammy was awarded for the film, ‘The Graduate’, under the category Best Original Score written for Motion Picture.
  • Grammy (1970) – The duo received five Grammys for the LP ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’. The awards were won under the categories, Best Contemporary Song, Song of the Year, Record of the Year and Album of the Year.
  • Grammy (1975) – Simon was awarded with three of the award for the LP ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ under the categories, Best Pop Vocal Male and Album of the Year.
  • Grammy (1986) – Simon won two Grammy awards for the LP ‘Graceland’ under the categories, Artist & Album of the Year.
  • Grammy Hall of Fame (1998) – Simon was bestowed with the highest honor in the field of music for his contributions.
Personal Life
  • Simon had several failed relationships and has been married thrice. He was in a relationship with his first real muse, Kathy Kathleen Mary, whom he met during his days in Europe.
  • Simon's growing success brought insecurities between the couple and they decided to part ways.
  • Simon's growing success brought insecurities between the couple and they decided to part ways.
  • Presently he is married to singer Edie Brickell. They got married on May 30, 1992 and are parents to three children namely Adrian, Lulu, and Gabriel.
  • Simon and his ex-girlfriend Kathy had posed for the cover of The Paul Simon Songbook.


Primetime Emmy Awards
1978 Outstanding Writing in a Comedy-Variety or Music Special The Paul Simon Special (1977)
Grammy Awards
1988 Record of the Year Winner
1987 Album of the Year Winner
1976 Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male Winner
1976 Album of the Year Winner
1971 Best Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist(s) Winner
1971 Song of the Year Winner
1971 Best Contemporary Song Winner
1969 Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special Winner
1969 Best Original Score Written for a Motion Picture The Graduate (1967)

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