Simon was born in New York City, the daughter of the co-founder of the book publisher Simon & Schuster, Inc., Richard L. Simon and Andrea (Heinemann) Simon, a former switchboard operator, civil rights activist, and singer. Her father was Jewish and her mother was Roman Catholic of half Spanish and half Swiss German descent. Family lore holds that Lucy's grandmother was also of partial "Moorish" origin based on her exotic looks.
She is the older sister of musician Carly Simon. In addition to her younger sister Carly, she has an older sister, opera singer Joanna, and a younger brother, photographer Peter. Simon grew up in Fieldston, a section of Riverdale in the Bronx. She attended the Fieldston School, graduating in 1958 and Bennington College.
Simon began her professional career at the age of sixteen singing folk tunes with sister Carly as The Simon Sisters and later folk-rock. Simon's setting of Wynken, Blynken, and Nod has been recorded by many diverse artists, including The Doobie Brothers, Mitzie Collins, and The Big Three (Cass Elliot, Tim Rose, and James Hendricks). In the mid-70's, after a number of years away from recording, Lucy released two albums on the RCA label of mostly original compositions, along with a few collaborations and covers. Her self-titled debut album was more folk-rock in orientation while her second album, "Stolen Time," had a contemporary pop sound. Carly Simon and James Taylor provided backing vocals on half of the songs from "Stolen Time."
Simon made her Broadway debut as the composer of The Secret Garden, for which she was nominated for a 1991 Tony Award for Best Original Score and a 1991 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. She also wrote songs for the Off-Broadway show A... My Name Is Alice.
She composed the music for a musical version of the Russian novel Doctor Zhivago, with lyricists Michael Korie and Amy Powers and book writer Michael Weller. The musical had its world premiere at the La Jolla Playhouse, San Diego, California, in May 2006. A new version of Doctor Zhivago ran in Sydney, Australia, Melbourne and Brisbane in 2011 under the title Doctor Zhivago - A New Musical, starring Anthony Warlow in the title role and Lucy Maunder as Lara, the sensitive doctor's secret muse. The musical was produced by John Frost with Des McAnuff directing. Anthony Warlow starred in the Australian production of The Secret Garden and at that time Simon said of him, "There is my Zhivago". The musical premiered on Broadway on March 27, 2015 (previews), with an official opening on April 21, 2015 at the Broadway Theatre, but was not successful, closing after 26 previews and 23 regular performances.
Simon also contributed to the Off-Broadway musical Mama and Her Boys.
She has won a Grammy award in 1981 together with her husband, David Levine, in the Best Recording for Children category for In Harmony/A Sesame Street Record, and again in 1983 in the same category for In Harmony 2.Meet The Simon Sisters, 1964
The Simon Sisters Sing The Lobster Quadrille And Other Songs For Children, 1969
Lucy & Carly - The Simon Sisters Sing For Children, 1973 [re-issue of "Lobster Quadrille" album]
Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod: The Kapp Recordings, 2006 [re-issue of their first two albums from 1964]
Carly & Lucy Simon Sing Songs For Children, 2008
Lucy Simon, 1975 (RCA)
Stolen Time, 1977 (RCA)
"Meet Lucy Simon", 1975 (RCA) [Promotional 45 RPM single]
"Sally Go 'Round the Sun", 1975 (RCA)
"If You Ever Believed", 1977 (RCA)
"I Have a Song" by Lucy Simon - In Harmony: A Sesame Street Record, 1980
"Maryanne" by Lucy & Carly Simon - In Harmony 2, 1981
Married to psychoanalyst David Levine, she has two children.