Paul Simon, Singer, Songwriter, and Composer
During his distinguished career Paul Simon has been the recipient of many honors and awards, including 12 Grammy Awards, three of which were for Album of the Year (Bridge Over Troubled Water, Still Crazy After All These Years, and Graceland). In 2003 he was given a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as half of the duo Simon & Garfunkel. He is an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and is in the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame both as a member of Simon & Garfunkel and as a solo artist. His song "Mrs. Robinson" from the motion picture The Graduate was named in the top 10 of the American Film Institute's 100 Years 100 Songs. He was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and was named as one of Time Magazine's "100 People Who Shape Our World" in 2006.
Of Simon's many concert appearances, he is most fond of the two concerts in Central Park in New York (with his partner and childhood friend Art Garfunkel in 1981 and as a solo artist in 1991) and the series of shows he did at the invitation of Nelson Mandela in South Africa as the first American artist to perform in post-apartheid South Africa.
Simon's philanthropic work includes the cofounding of the Children's Health Fund with Dr. Irwin Redlener. The CHF donates and staffs mobile medical vans that bring health care to poor and indigent children in urban and rural locations around the United States. In the 20 years since its inception it has provided more than 1,200,000 doctor/patient visits. In the wake of hurricanes Andrew and Katrina it was the primary health care source for those communities decimated by the storms. Simon has also raised millions of dollars for worthy causes as varied as AMFAR, the Nature Conservancy, the Fund for Imprisoned Children in South Africa, and Autism Speaks. In 1989 the United Negro College Fund honored him with its Frederick D. Patterson Award.
On May 23, 2007, Simon was the recipient of the first annual Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Named in honor of the legendary George and Ira Gershwin, this newly created award recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world's culture, and will be given annually to a composer or performer whose lifetime contributions exemplify the standard of excellence associated with the Gershwins.