Norton Simon

Art Collector
Born Feb 5, 1907

Norton Winfred Simon, in the United States was a millionaire industrialist and philanthropist based in California. A significant art collector, he is the namesake of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena, California.

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1907 Birth Born on February 5, 1907.


1924 17 Years Old Born into a successful Jewish family in Portland, Oregon, he attended high school in San Francisco, graduating in 1924.
1925 18 Years Old At his father's insistence, in 1925 he enrolled in the University of California, Berkeley, but left his pre-law studies within the first six weeks to found a sheet metal distribution company.


1927 20 Years Old He enjoyed early success and invested $7000 in 1927 in an orange juice bottling plant in Fullerton, California which was insolvent and renamed it Val Vita Food Products Company. … Read More


1943 36 Years Old As one of the first of his significant corporate moves, Simon sold Val Vita to Hunt's Foods in return for a controlling interest in the combined business. By 1943 he changed the company's name to Hunt's Foods and ran it with strict cost-controls and an unorthodox approach to marketing. … Read More
1945 38 Years Old His marketing strategy worked, and by 1945 Hunt Foods became a household name and one of the largest food processing businesses on the West Coast. … Read More


1969 62 Years Old 1 More Event
In 1969, his son Robert Simon committed suicide. … Read More
1970 63 Years Old In 1970, Simon opposed U.S. Senator George Murphy's bid for a second term in the Republican primary. … Read More
1971 64 Years Old He married actress Jennifer Jones in 1971.
1974 67 Years Old …  He ultimately assumed control and naming rights, and in 1974 it was renamed the Norton Simon Museum.
1984 77 Years Old He was diagnosed in 1984 with the neurological disorder Guillain–Barré syndrome, although he remained active in the Norton Simon Museum until his death.
1987 80 Years Old In 1987, the University of California, Los Angeles, announced an "agreement in principle" with Simon for the transfer to the university of the art collection owned by two Simon foundations – the Norton Simon Foundation and the Norton Simon Art Foundation. … Read More
1993 86 Years Old Died on June 2, 1993.
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