Magazine article The Christian Century

Paul Simon (1928-2003)

Magazine article The Christian Century

Paul Simon (1928-2003)

Article excerpt

THIS MAGAZINE lost a good friend and strong supporter when former U.S. Senator Paul Simon died on December 9. He was a member of the CENTURY'S board of trustees and he read each issue carefully. He regularly responded to its content in crisp notes to the editors, handwritten or typed on his manual typewriter.

Journalism was his first calling. At the age of 19 he dropped out of college, borrowed $3,600, bought a weekly newspaper in Troy, Illinois, and immediately investigated, reported and editorialized about corruption in Illinois politics.

The Chicago Tribune, often critical of Simon's political positions, described him as "a quietly" efficient champion of everything from literacy, hunger, foreign language instruction and missing children's programs to immigration, ethics and budget reforms." At a time when political winds blow to the right, and social programs are being down-sized or eliminated, Simon continued to believe that government is often the best way to serve and help people. He said repeatedly that government ought to appeal not to greed, but to whatever is noble in the human spirit. He made that stance credible by example. …

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