Herb Simon is best known by sports fans as the owner of the Indiana Pacers, but the reality is that this is just a sideline of his. Those who are familiar with his business prowess know that he’s a brilliant entrepreneur who has worked hard to establish a successful company and elevate his position in the business world to one that demands respect. Here are 10 things that you probably didn’t know about Herb Simon to give you a better idea of who he really is.
1. He’s a self-made man
Herb and his brother Melvin, who passed away in 2009 founded the Simon Property Group, Inc together in 1960. Mr. Simon is now in his 80s. The company grew quickly and is now one of the biggest REITs in the world and it owns nearly 180 shopping malls throughout the United States, Asia and Europe. The business has made him one of the richest men in America.
2. He is a pioneer in the private holdings company sector
When Herb and Melvin started their business in 1960, they were among the first to take Melvin Simon & Associates (the precursor to Simon Property Group, Inc.), to the publicly traded sector. In fact, the brothers are credited with making history when the Simon Property Group went public with the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol SPG. SPG had the largest REIT IPO of all time, in 1993 when the IPO was accepted and they officially became listed on the NYSE.
3. He’s a regular guy from the Bronx
Mr. Simon was born in Brooklyn, New York. He went to school at the City College of New York where he earned his BBA degree in business. He hasn’t attended any of the ivy league universities, but he did gain the knowledge that was necessary for starting up a business and making it run efficiently. He was raised in a Bronx neighborhood, and grew up without a lot of money at his disposal, but he relied upon his skills and desire to get ahead in life to build a fortune.
4. Herb’s Parents
Herb Simon has a very rich family history. His mother and father are Max and Mae Simon. Their ancestry goes back to Central Europe. His father worked as a tailor. Simon was raised in a Jewish family who settled in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in New York. His mother was born on the lower east side.
5. He is an avid philanthropist
We were impressed by the amount of funding that Mr. Simon gives to charity. He established the Herbert Simon Family Foundation. Two generations of members of the Simon family sits on the board which decides where funding is to be allocated. Funds are distributed to worthy causes, and there are a lot of them, through the Foundation.
6. He’s big on social justice
While learning more about the Simon Family Foundation, we discovered that Herb Simon cares about social justice. He’s not only concerned about issues such as meeting the basic needs of people who are disadvantaged, but also about their education, healthy living, arts and culture and the environment. He’s a well rounded person who is doing his part to make a difference in the world around him.
7. He’s a multi-billionaire
Herb Simon is a self-made man who has made a fortune through the company that he co-founded with his brother. As of May of 2019, his estimated net worth is $3.4 billion. The NBA team that he owns (Indiana Pacers) is valued at $1.175 billion. His assets are well distributed and not concentrated in just one area.
8. Herb Simon is still highly active
Mr. Simon is in his mid-eighties, but he hasn’t slowed down much. He remains active as the Director of the Simon property Group since 1993, as well as the Chairman Emeritus for the company. He was formerly the CEO of the group but turned over the reigns to a younger family member. In addition to this, he chairs the Kirkus Media LLC, and co-chairs the Melvin Simon & Associates group as well as serving on the Cheesecake Factory Incorporated Board as an independent director. He serves on a variety of civic organization and community non profit boards across multiple industries.
9. He owns more than one pro ball team
We also learned that Herb Simon has a diversified portfolio of investments. He not only owns the Indiana Pacers, but he also has an interest in a baseball team. He is a partial owner of the AAA Baseball Reno Aces. He has made some great investments that give us a glimpse of the things that interest him as well. In addition to owning, or at least having an interest in pro ball teams, he has kept his options open in a number of industry associations lending his leadership skills and serving on the boards of directors as well.
10. He is a huge supporter of Jewish causes
Mr. Simon is a generous benefactor who has not forgotten where he came from, who his parents were or those who are also members of his ancestral group. Coming from a family of Jewish immigrants, he understands that there is a need to help those who are struggling to make their place in the world, often, under extremely difficult circumstances. Herb supports the Anti-Defamation League, the United States Holocaust Museum, the Birthright Israel Foundation and an American Jewish Committee called the USC Shoah Foundation, which supplies aid to assist in the restoration of a Jewish synagogue in need of repair that is located in Thessaloniki, Greece.