Former President Bill Clinton described Melvin Simon as one of the most remarkable people he’s ever met as he gave a eulogy
today during the funeral for the billionaire shopping mall developer and Indiana Pacers co-owner.
Vice President Al Gore, basketball stars Larry Bird and Reggie Miller, and NBA Commissioner David Stern were among about 2,000
mourners who attended Simon’s funeral at Congregation Beth-El Zedeck.
"He made a lot of money, but he didn’t
sit on it," Clinton said. "He shared it."
Simon’s philanthropy included $50 million for Indiana
University’s cancer center and $10 million to the Indianapolis Museum of Art, along with support for other health care and
Simon’s children spoke at the service, as did his brother and business partner, Herbert.
Herb Simon shared memories of their childhood in New York City, playing stickball and learning the importance of family and
The founder of Simon Property Group Inc. died Wednesday at age 82.
After the hour-long service
ended, Simon’s casket was wheeled out as Frank Sinatra’s "My Way" played. A private graveside service was later
held at Beth-El Zedeck Memorial Park.
Simon, who was the son of a Bronx tailor, arrived in Indianapolis in the
1950s while in the Army and entered the commercial real estate business in the city after his discharge.
he started in 1960 as Melvin Simon & Associates grew into the country’s largest shopping mall company, with ownership
interest in more than 300 properties in the United States, Europe and Japan. Forbes magazine estimated Simon’s fortune this
year at $1.3 billion.
His interests also extended to politics and the movies. Simon and his wife, Bren, were major
Democratic Party donors and he produced several films, most notably the 1980s teen comedy "Porky’s."