Noted Civil War historian in Carbondale, Ill., dies at 75

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- John Y. Simon, one of the nation's foremost scholars on President Grant and the Civil War, died Tuesday, Southern Illinois University officials said. He was 75.

Simon died at a Carbondale hospital, said a Huffman-Harker Funeral Home spokesman.

The award-winning historian spent more than four decades at SIU and led the Ulysses S. Grant Association, which is based at the Carbondale school, since 1962.

A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard University, Simon spent decades amassing a collection of documents about the Union general, compiling them into "The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant." The 31st volume of the collection is in its final stages, school officials said.

"Dr. Simon's contribution as a scholar, a teacher and a historian is well recognized nationally and worldwide," interim chancellor Samuel Goldman said in a statement. "He has brought credit and renown to Southern Illinois University."

Simon, also an authority on the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln, won a Lincoln Prize for outstanding scholarship about the late president, a lifetime achievement award from The Lincoln Forum and an Award of Merit from the Illinois State Historical Society, among other accolades.

He is survived by a wife, daughter and two grandchildren.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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