In August, he was asked to continue to serve in this position by President Ford, who shortly afterward appointed him Chairman of the Economic Policy Board and chief spokesman for the Administration on economic issues. On April 8, 1975, President Ford also named him Chairman of the newly created East-West Foreign Trade Board, established under the authority of the Trade Act of 1974.
At the time of his nomination as Treasury Secretary, Mr. Simon was serving as Deputy Secretary of the Treasury, a post he had held from January 22, 1973. As Deputy Secretary, he supervised the Administration's program to restructure and improve U.S. financial institutions. He also served as the first Administrator of the Federal Energy Office.
From December 4, 1973, Mr. Simon simultaneously launched and administered the Federal Energy Administration at the height of the oil embargo. He also chaired the President's Oil Policy Committee and was instrumental in revising the mandatory oil import program in April 1973. Mr. Simon was a member of the President's Energy Resources Council and continued to have major responsibility for coordinating both domestic and international energy policy.
In 1977, Mr. Simon received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department's highest honor. In 1976, while serving as Secretary of the Treasury, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt presented Mr. Simon with the Collar of the Republic/Order of the Nile. Mr. Simon's term as Secretary of the Treasury ended on January 20, 1977.
The son of an insurance executive, Mr. Simon was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on November 27, 1927. He was graduated from Newark Academy and, after service in the U.S. Army (infantry), received his B.A. from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1951. He began his career with Union Securities in 1952. He served as Vice President of Weeden & Company before becoming the senior partner in charge of the Government and Municipal Bond departments at Salomon Brothers, where he was a member of the seven-man Executive Committee of the firm.
Following government service, Mr. Simon co-founded Wesray Corporation, a successful pioneer in mergers and acquisitions. Seven years later he launched WSGP International, which concentrated on investments in real estate and financial service organizations in the western United States and on the Pacific Rim. Most recently, in 1988, he founded William E. Simon & Sons, a global merchant bank with offices in New Jersey, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.
During his business career, Mr. Simon served on the boards of over thirty companies including Xerox, Citibank, Halliburton, Dart and Kraft, and United Technologies. In recognition of his visionary leadership in business, finance and public service, the Graduate School of Management at the University of Rochester was renamed the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration in 1986.
Mr. Simon was an active member of the United States Olympic Committee for over 30 years. He served as Treasurer from 1977 to 1981 and as President of the U.S. Olympic Committee for the four-year period, which included the 1984 Games in Sarajevo and Los Angeles. He chaired the U.S. Olympic Foundation, created with the profits of the Los Angeles games, from 1985 through 1997, and was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1991.
Mr. Simon received numerous awards during his career in sports. Among them are the Olympic Torch and the Olympic Order, the highest honors, respectively, of the United States Olympic Committee and the International Olympic Committee. Mr. Simon served as an officer or on the board of the Jesse Owens Foundation, the Basketball Hall of Fame, the National Tennis Foundation and Hall of Fame, the U.S. Amateur Boxing Foundation, the Women's Sports Foundation, and the World Cup '94 Organizing and Executive Committees.
As a man of faith and an active Knight of Malta, Mr. Simon considered the opportunity to serve those less fortunate than he a God-given privilege and, indeed, a responsibility. A volunteer at Covenant House and a Eucharistic Minister to patients, many of whom were destitute and terminally ill or both, at four hospitals, Mr. Simon made a personal commitment to serve the sick and poor. He was also a well-known philanthropist, and created hundreds of scholarships for underprivileged students at both the high school and college level. He endowed chairs at numerous universities, including the William E. Simon Chairs in Political Economy at Lafayette College, his alma mater, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies at Georgetown University. At the U.S. Air Force Academy, Mr. Simon established the William E. Simon Center for Strategic Studies as well as a Simon professorship.
Mr. Simon served as President of the John M. Olin Foundation and as trustee of The John Templeton Foundation. He has also served on the boards of many of America's premier think tanks, including The Heritage Foundation and the Hoover Institution. He was the author of two best-selling books, A Time for Truth in 1978 and A Time for Action in 1980.
Mr. Simon married former Tonia Donnelly. His first wife, Carol Girard Simon, died in 1995. Mr. Simon had seven children and 22 grandchildren. William E. Simon died on June 3, 2000 in Santa Barbara, California. One of his sons, Bill Simon ran for governor of California in 2002.