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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 29, 1997

The President today announced the nomination of Paul Simon to serve as a member of the National Institute for Literacy Advisory Board.

Paul Simon, of Makanda, Illinois, is the former senior U.S. Senator from Illinois. During the 104th Congress he served on the budget, labor and human resources, judiciary and Indian affairs committees. During his Senate tenure, Senator Simon wrote and enacted the National Literacy Act, the School-To-Work Opportunities Act, the Job Training Partnership Act amendments, several provisions of the Goals 2000 Act and the 1994 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. He was the leading Senate champion of the new direct college loan program enacted in 1993. Senator Simon retired from the Senate on January 3, 1997. Senator Simon currently serves as a professor at Southern Illinois University, where he teaches classes in political science and journalism. In addition, he is founder and director of the Public Policy Institute at SIU at Carbondale.

Prior to his election to the U.S. Senate in 1984, Senator Simon served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1974 to 1984. Before serving in the House of Representatives, Senator Simon served in the Illinois state legislature from 1954 to 1968, and served as lieutenant governor of Illinois from 1968 to 1972. He served two years in the U.S. Army and was assigned to the Counter-Intelligence Corps as a special agent in Europe. At age 19, Senator Simon became the nation's youngest editor-publisher when he accepted a local Lion's Club challenge to save the Troy Tribune in Troy, Illinois. He built a chain of 13 newspapers in southern and central Illinois, which he sold in 1966 to devote full time to public service and writing. Senator Simon attended the University of Oregon and Dana College in Blair, Nebraska.

The National Institute for Literacy was created to assist in upgrading the workforce, reduce welfare dependency, raise the standard of living and create safer communities. The Advisory Board makes program recommendations, establishes priorities for the activities of the Institute, and reviews agency spending plans.