NET WORTH: $55 Million, estimated
SOURCE OF WEALTH: Singer-Songwriter
FUNDING AREAS: Children, Other
OVERVIEW: Paul Simon co-founded the Children's Health Fund (CHF), which donates and staffs mobile medical vans that bring health care to poor and indigent children in urban and rural locations around the United States. Simon has also raised funds for groups such as amfAR, The Nature Conservancy, Fund for Imprisoned Children in South Africa, Autism Speaks, and Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation.
BACKGROUND: Paul Simon was born to Jewish parents in New Jersey in 1941. Both of his parents were teachers. Simon moved to Queens at a young age, soon meeting and befriending Art Garfunkel. The duo became major stars in the 1960s. Simon has also enjoyed a long solo career. He has won a number of Grammys, including the Lifetime Achievement Award.
CHILDREN'S HEALTH FUND: Paul Simon and Dr. Irwin Redlener founded Children's Health Fund in 1987 after touring Martinique Hotel, a shelter for homeless families in New York City. The New York Children's Health Project was the first program in what would eventually become Children's Health Fund's national network of programs. The program began with one big blue bus, "a state-of-the-art mobile medical clinic that would bring care directly to those children with the least access." Over the years, Children's Health Fund has applied this formula across the country and provides care through innovative pediatric care programs and affiliates that serve children in poor communities across the country.
Children's Health Fund has also "campaigned in support of expanding health insurance coverage for low-income children, as well as public health programs that provide a critical safety net for millions of medically underserved children." In the 1990s, Children's Health Fund launched Kids First, Kids Now!, "a public education and advocacy campaign that focused national attention on the need for a true health care safety net for all of America’s children." The fund has also assists those affected by natural disasters, including Hurricane Andrew, and more recently, Hurricane Katrina.
OTHER: Simon has also raised funds for organizations such as amfAR (which works in AIDS research), Nature Conservancy, Fund for Imprisoned Children in South Africa, Autism Speaks, and the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation, which aims to end the cycle of domestic violence.
LOOKING FORWARD: In his 70s, Simon has been engaged in philanthropy for quite some time, but it is not clear how much of his own money he gives to his causes. It is possible that some of Simon's other philanthropy might be taking place through other channels that aren't public.