“Mel Simon was an extraordinary person, a giant of a man who contributed so much to our community and to our state. His kindness, generosity, creativity, warmth and genuine goodness is almost immeasurable. He’s one of the major reasons Indianapolis is a major league city in many different ways. The success of the Simon family has touched the lives and benefitted every single Hoosier.” -- Pacers Sports & Entertainment President Jim Morris

“Melvin was a very dear friend and golfing buddy. He is a true legend to this city, not only for the visible things that everyone sees each day, but because he was a man who cared about people. He is one of this country’s greatest success stories, a man who is a true example of the American Dream. As an owner of the Pacers, he was a joy to work for and to work with. But he wasn’t only an owner, he was the biggest and best Pacers fan. I will miss him and the Pacers’ family will miss him.” -- Pacers President Larry Bird

“My heart is very heavy today, Mel Simon was a great owner but more importantly a loving and giving friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Simon family.” -- Former Pacers player Reggie Miller

“Mel and Herb were the two owners I worked with for 23 years in Indianapolis, and they were as fine as men as you can find anywhere. Mel was an extremely gifted, intelligent and generous man with a great heart. He was an avid basketball fan who enjoyed our winning seasons even more than I did. I was extremely sad when I heard the news of his passing and I will miss him greatly.” -- Former Pacers President Donnie Walsh.

“The NBA family has lost one of its most successful and respected owners. More importantly, we have lost a great friend. Mel and Herb Simon purchased the Indiana Pacers in 1983, and under their stewardship the organization became a model franchise and one of the league's most successful teams. Mel's impact on the community, however, extended well beyond basketball. His social activism throughout the years earned many well-earned accolades. His influence, on and off the court, will be felt for a very long time. We extend our deepest sympathies to Mel's wife Bren, their four children, and the entire Simon family.” -- NBA Commissioner David Stern

“Despite his enormous success and wealth, Mel was a regular guy. He treated everyone with respect, whether billionaire or bellcap. That’s the sign of a really good person. I have long admired the way in which he honored his heritage and created a rich legacy through his generosity. We should all be grateful that he chose Indianapolis when he left the Army as a young man and started his career. He spent his life making his adopted hometown a better place, and we will always be in his debt. -- Indianapolis Colts owner and CEO Jim Irsay

“A giant, pure and simple, and a citizen in the noblest sense of that word. When the U.S. Army sent young Mel Simon to Fort Ben instead of anywhere else, it was one of the greatest breaks the state of Indiana will ever get.” -- Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels

Franchise pays tribute to Melvin Simon

Melvin Simon was honored in a special tribute as part of the Conseco Fieldhouse 10th Anniversary event on Friday, November 6. A banner was raised to the rafters celebrating Melvin Simon before tip-off . Tribute Video | Photos


Clinton remembers Melvin Simon as "remarkable" person

The Associated Press | Sept. 18, 2009
Former President Bill Clinton described Melvin Simon as one of the most remarkable people he's ever met as he gave a eulogy at the funeral for the shopping mall developer and Indiana Pacers co-owner.

Clinton, former Vice President Al Gore, basketball star Larry Bird and NBA Commissioner David Stern were among about 2,000 mourners who attended Simon's funeral Friday in Indianapolis.

Clinton says Simon made a lot of money in his career but shared it through his philanthropy.

Simon's brother and business partner, Herb, shared memories of their childhood in New York City, playing stickball and knowing the importance of family and community.

The founder of Simon Property Group Inc. died Wednesday at age 82.


Franchise mourns passing of Melvin Simon

Simon Property Group News Release | Sept. 16, 2009
Melvin Simon, shopping center industry pioneer and Chairman Emeritus of the Board of Simon Property Group, has died at the age of 82 after a short illness.

A native of the Bronx, New York, Mr. Simon attended the Bronx High School of Science and the City College of New York, where he earned a B.S. degree in accounting, and an M.B.A. with emphasis on real estate. He came to Indiana in 1954 while serving in the U.S. Army at Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis.

Upon his discharge from the Army, Mr. Simon worked as a leasing representative with the Albert Frankel Company, an Indianapolis developer of community shopping centers. In 1960, sensing the vast potential in this industry, Mr. Simon, joined by his brothers Herbert and Fred, created Melvin Simon & Associates, who quickly became known for their willingness to do business on a handshake.

From the early years of developing enclosed regional malls and community shopping centers, the company has pioneered cutting edge development and retail concepts that have earned it the reputation as one of the industry’s leading innovators. In 1993, under the leadership of Mr. Simon’s son, David, Simon Property Group was formed into the largest Initial Public Offering in the history of the REIT industry. Subsequent property and portfolio acquisitions have created the world’s largest retail real estate REIT.

Mr. Simon also enjoyed a lifelong love of sports, most notably basketball and golf. His love of sports culminated in the purchase of the Indiana Pacers in 1983, along with his brother, Herb, turning that franchise into one of the most respected in professional sports today.

Throughout his life, Mr. Simon was the recipient of many awards and honors, including the Jewish Welfare Federation’s “Man of the Year,” The Horatio Alger Award and a seat in the Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame. In 1995, upon the opening of Circle Centre in Indianapolis, he was named a Sagamore of the Wabash. In 2003, he was named a “Lifetime Trustee” of the Urban Land Institute and was a former trustee of the International Council of Shopping Centers. In 2007, Mr. Simon was inducted into The Indiana Academy, a recognition bestowed on him by the state’s private colleges and universities. Most recently, in June 2009, he was named a Living Legend by the Indiana Historical Society.

Understanding the importance of giving back, Mr. Simon had many philanthropic interests, including organizations that serve underprivileged youth, the arts, museums, social services and education. From the early days of the Jerry Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, to the formation of the Simon Youth Foundation, Mr. Simon always tried to help those less fortunate, never forgetting his humble beginnings. He was especially generous in gifts to Indiana University – Simon Hall and the Bess Meshulam Simon Music Library and Recital Hall on the Bloomington campus, the Simon Family Tower at Riley Hospital for Children, and most recently, the Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center at the Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis. He was a member of Beth-El Zedeck congregation in Indianapolis.

Mr. Simon is survived by his wife of 40 years, Bren; his children, Deborah Simon, Cynthia Simon Skjodt, David Simon and Tammy McCauley; his grandchildren, Eli, Rebecca, Hannah, Noah and Sam Simon; Erik, Samantha and Ian Skjodt; Tasha and Dylan McCauley; and his brothers, Fred and Herbert. He was preceded in death by son, Joshua Max Simon.