Simon Cowell Biography

(Television Personality, Entrepreneur and Creator of 'The X Factor' and 'Got Talent' Franchises)

Birthday: October 7, 1959 (Libra)

Born In: Lambeth, London, England

Simon Cowell is an English television personality and entrepreneur. He became famous as a judge on various talent shows like Pop Idol, American Idol, and The X Factor. He is famous, or rather notorious, for his biting and sarcastic remarks on contestants’ performances in reality shows. A wealthy entrepreneur, he is the founder of the television and music production house, Syco, which produced the highly successful Got Talent franchise in the U.S. and the U.K. As a youngster, he was thrown out of several schools due to his bad behavior. He attended college, but dropped out before completing his degree. Concerned about his future, his father arranged various job interviews for him which he deliberately sabotaged. He even got a chance to work as a runner on Stanley Kubrick's movie The Shining, but faced problems with his colleagues due to his ill-temper. His father got him a job with EMI Music Publishing where he rose to the position of an Artists and Repertoire (A&R) man. He was chosen to judge the British music television show Pop Idol along with Neil Fox and Nicki Chapman. He was noticed by the public for being the rudest and insensitive judge who did not think twice before passing bitter and insulting comments to the participants—a reputation that only got stronger as he moved on to judge other talent shows. He has also signed many popular bands like Westlife, One Direction, and CNCO.

Quick Facts

British Celebrities Born In October

Also Known As: Simon Phillip Cowell

Age: 64 Years, 64 Year Old Males


father: Eric Selig Phillip Cowell

mother: Julie Brett

siblings: John Cowell, June Cowell, Michael Cowell, Nicholas Cowell, Tony Cowell

children: Eric Cowell

Partner: Lauren Silverman (2013–)

Born Country: England

Quotes By Simon Cowell British Men

Height: 5'9" (175 cm), 5'9" Males

City: London, England

Notable Alumni: Dover College

More Facts

education: Dover College

  • 1

    What is Simon Cowell's role on "America's Got Talent?"

    Simon Cowell is a judge on the reality TV show "America's Got Talent" since 2016.

  • 2

    Has Simon Cowell ever been a singer?

    While Simon Cowell is known for his role as a judge on singing competitions, he has not pursued a career as a singer himself.

  • 3

    How did Simon Cowell become famous?

    Simon Cowell gained fame and recognition for his role as a tough judge on various TV talent shows like "American Idol" and "The X Factor."

  • 4

    What is Simon Cowell's opinion on talent show contestants?

    Simon Cowell is known for his blunt and honest critiques of contestants on talent shows, often providing constructive criticism to help them improve.

  • 5

    Does Simon Cowell have any famous proteges from talent shows?

    Simon Cowell has mentored and helped launch the careers of several successful artists, including One Direction, Leona Lewis, and Little Mix.

Childhood & Early Life

Simon Cowell was born on October 7, 1959, in Lambeth, London, England, to Eric Philip Cowell and Julie Brett. His father was an estate agent and music industry executive, while his mother was a ballet dancer. He is of mixed ancestry, and has one brother and several half-siblings.

He attended Radlett Preparatory School, but did not like the rules and regulations of the school and was frequently reprimanded for bad behavior.

He went to Dover College, but dropped out before completing his education. He had interests in films and music, but not in academics.

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He did several menial jobs after dropping out. His father arranged for him several interviews for various jobs, but Cowell found those jobs boring. He got an opportunity to work as a runner on the sets of the movie The Shining, but he quit as he could not get along with other staff members.

He finally landed a job as a mail room clerk at EMI Music Publishing with the help of his father. His interest in music and television enabled him to move up the ladder and he became an assistant to an A & R executive in 1979.

He left the company in the early 1980s and formed E&S Music in collaboration with his former boss. However, the company did not last long.

In 1985, he formed Fanfare Records with his partner Iain Burton. The company produced hits like So Macho and Toy Boy and enjoyed short term success. However, the company was shut in 1989, forcing Cowell to move in with his parents.

He was offered the position of an A&R consultant by BMG in 1989. His responsibility was to scout for talent and find new artists for the company. He did well and introduced artists like Robson & Jerome to the music industry.

He was selected to serve as one of the judges in Pop Idol, a British television music competition show on ITV in 2001. The show ran till 2003. He soon became notorious for his blunt and often rude criticisms aimed at the contestants.

In 2002, he founded Syco Entertainment, a global joint venture with Sony Music Entertainment. The company deals with music, television, and digital content, and is the producer of The X Factor and Got Talent franchises.

He was one of the judges of American Idol along with Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and many others. The format of this show was based on the British reality show Pop Idol. He judged the show from 2002 to 2010.

He created a music competition titled The X Factor in 2004. The original U.K version of the show was so successful that it was adapted into numerous versions around the world.

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Inspired by the immense popularity of the competitions, Cowell designed a competition format that was open not only to the singers but also to other performers like instrumentalists, comedians, magicians, etc. Thus, the Got Talent franchise was born and America’s Got Talent debuted in 2006.

Over the years, he has produced and co-produced several other shows like American Inventor (2006), Rock Rivals (2008), and Red or Black? (2011).

In partnership with YouTube, Cowell launched a video-sharing competition called The You Generation in 2013.

In 2018, it was announced that Cowell had created his first BBC show titled The Greatest Dancer, which debuted in January 2019.

Major Works

He is well-known for being a brutally honest judge in reality television shows, such as Pop Idol, American Idol, and The X Factor. During the shows, Cowell comments on the participants’ performances and abilities in an insulting and scathing manner.

He created the highly successful television show franchises The X Factor and Got Talent which became so popular in the U.S. and the U.K. that it led to spin-offs in several other countries all over the world.

Awards & Achievements

He was honored with the Special Recognition Award at the 14th National Television Awards, U.K., in 2008.

He won the BAFTA Special Award in 2010, for his outstanding contribution to the television industry and commitment to new talent.

Personal Life & Legacy

Simon Cowell has been linked with many women in the past, including Sinitta and Danni Minogue. He dated Terri Seymour from 2002 to 2008. He was engaged to Mezhgan Hussainy from 2010 to 2011.

He supports various charities that work with underprivileged children. He is involved with an association of Children’s Hospices and has also appeared in a PETA video.

Cowell began dating Lauren Silverman in 2013. In July 2013, Silverman's husband and Cowell's friend, Andrew Silverman, filed for an at-fault divorce, mentioning adultery by his wife and naming Cowell as a co-respondent. On February 14, 2014, Cowell and Lauren welcomed their son Eric. In January 2022, Simon Cowell got engaged to Lauren Silverman.

Facts About Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell has a phobia of germs and reportedly avoids shaking hands with people whenever possible.

He is an avid collector of classic cars, with a particular fondness for luxury vehicles.

Cowell is known for his love of animals, especially dogs, and has been involved in various animal welfare charities.

He once appeared as a guest voice on an episode of "The Simpsons," showcasing his sense of humor and willingness to poke fun at himself.


MTV Movie & TV Awards
2004 Best Cameo Scary Movie 3 (2003)
ASCAP Film And Television Music Awards
2013 Top Television Series The X Factor (2004)

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