Nisha Rathode (Editor)

Melvin Simon

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Nationality  United States
Name  Melvin Simon
Other names  Mel
Role  Businessman
Occupation  Real estate developer
Siblings  Herbert Simon
Parent(s)  Max and Mae Simon

Melvin Simon wwwnbacompacersphotosmelvinsimon150jpg
Born  October 21, 1926 (1926-10-21) Glen Cove, New York
Alma mater  City College of New York (B.A., 1949)
Family  Herbert Simon (brother)
Died  September 16, 2009, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Spouse  Bren Burns (m. 1972–2009), Bess Meshulam (m. 1955)
Children  David Simon, Joshua Max Simon, Deborah Simon, Cynthia A. Simon Skjodt, Tamme McCauley
Movies  Cloud Dancer, Scavenger Hunt, My Bodyguard, UFOria, Dominique
Similar People  Herbert Simon, David Simon, Harold Greenberg, Bob Clark, Arnold Kopelson

Melvin "Mel" Simon (October 21, 1926 – September 16, 2009) was an American businessman and film producer, who co-founded the largest shopping mall company in the United States, the Simon Property Group, with his younger brother, Herb Simon. The pair jointly purchased the Indiana Pacers in 1983.


Melvin Simon Melvin Simon rey de los 39mall39 Edicin impresa EL PAS

Early life and education

Melvin Simon Party Pictures 61003 Bren and Mel Simon39s Black and

Simon was born to a Jewish family in Williamsburg, Brooklyn and grew up in the Bronx, the son of Max and Mae Simon. His father was a tailor who had emigrated from Central Europe. Simon graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and earned a degree in accounting from the City College of New York in 1949. He then served in the US Army where he was stationed at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis in 1953. He supplemented his army pay working as a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman. After leaving the military, he decided to stay in Indianapolis and took a job as a leasing agent where he saw the potential in real estate.

Real estate

Melvin Simon Party Pictures 61003 Bren and Mel Simon39s Black and

After a few years as a leasing agent and having handled leasing at several shopping centers, he formed his own leasing company in 1959 with his younger brother Herb, Melvin Simon & Associates. Melvin owned 2/3rd of the business and Herb the remainder. They started out by developing strip centers anchored by groceries and drugstores; they soon graduated to developing fully enclosed malls. By 1967, they owned and operated more than 3 million square feet of retail property and expanded nationally.

The Simons followed a very successful strategy. They would entice a large anchor tenant, typically a department store, to their planned mall by charging them less rent and then would use the contract to obtain bank financing for the construction usually with minimal investment from the Simons. Once the project was completed, the Simons would charge smaller stores a higher rate and also required that stores pay a premium over their rent if their sales exceeded pre-negotiated levels.

In 1993, Melvin Simon & Associates went public as the Simon Property Group raising $1 billion for the Simon brothers. At the time, this was the largest real estate stock offering ever made. In 1996, the company merged with the DeBartolo Realty Corporation in a $3.0 billion merger becoming the Simon DeBartolo Group. In 1998, the company reverted to the Simon Property Group name and maintains its title as the largest mall operator in the United States, owning 386 properties in North America, Europe and Asia; clocking 2.8 billion shopper visits each year, and having annual sales in excess of $60 billion. The company, although publicly held, remained controlled by the Simon brothers.


In the 1970s, Simon expanded into producing films but ended up losing millions of dollars in what he later called a "big mistake." He is known for producing the 1982 adolescent classic Porky's.

Indiana Pacers

In 1983, the Simons bought the NBA franchise, the Indiana Pacers.

Personal life

Simon has been married twice:

  • His first wife was Bess Meshulam They later divorced. Bess (now Koby) remarried and later died of cancer in 1977. They had three children:
  • Deborah Simon
  • Cynthia A. Simon Skjodt. She is married to Canadian Paul Skjodt, the owner of the Indiana Ice hockey team. He was a former professional hockey player with the Indianapolis Checkers of the International Hockey League. They have three children.
  • David E. Simon (born 1961), chairman and CEO of Simon Property Group
  • In 1972, he married Bren Burns and adopted Bren's daughter from a previous marriage, Tamme McCauley. They also had a son, Joshua Max, who died in 1999 at the age of 25.
  • He was a member of the Beth-El Zedeck congregation in Indianapolis.

    Simon died of cancer on September 16, 2009 at the age of 82. At the time of his death, his wealth was estimated at $1.3 billion.

    After his death, a dispute over his most recent will arose between his children from his first marriage and his wife. The will, signed with the physical assistance of a financial advisor, was amended seven months before his death. The revised will provided significantly more for Burns, and significantly less for his children by his first marriage, than previous versions.


    Melvin Simon Wikipedia