Sandy Simon - his story in words and pictures

This website introduces you to Alexander A. “Sandy” Simon Jr., a very successful businessman and civic leader, who’s life was significantly changed when he experienced a massive cerebral hemorrhage (Stroke) resulting in his being declared 100% disabled in 1993 at the age of 56. Following Sandy’s stroke, and through a period of determined and difficult self driven therapy programs, he miraculously recovered and is now leading a happy and productive life as an Artist, Writer and Raconteur as the following sections of this website will show. 

His recovery is detailed in Sandy's book - "A Stroke of Genius".  He continues his education and study as well as his physical therapy to ensure he continues to grow to meet new challenges.  


In addition to becoming a prolific author, Sandy has also become an artist and public speaker.  
This website will introduce and acquaint you with the works of an amazing, determined and generous individual.  
His books and art work are available for purchase. 
See subsequent pages....

The Early Years

Sandy was born in Delray Beach, FL to a pioneer family that had emigrated from Lebanon in 1912. 
In the photo montage you see Sandy's parents and brothers.
The Education Years
After graduating from high school, Sandy received his B.S. in Architecture from Georgia Tech.  
He followed with his M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Business Years
Upon graduation from Georgia Tech, Sandy took a two year escape to the sun, project managing the construction of a resort on Exuma Island in the Bahama Out Islands.  His first job after college was arranged by family friend Joe Kern.  After two years on Exuma, he went to work for Georgia Pacific as a line salesman throughout north Georgia.  After two years with Georgia Pacific, he attended The Wharton Graduate School to attain an MBA in Finance and Real Estate.
There followed an eighteen year period of large scale real estate development and commercial real estate management in Georgia when his innate sense of vision and innovation went into action.  During this period he was also involved in many civic and charity events.  Among these in Savannah,  he was project manager developing Oglethorpe Mall and  restored  several 100 year old row houses for his own account in one of which he resided in the city's Historic District.   
Sandy chaired the effort to revitalize the Savannah Symphony Society.  Sandy also introduced a "Pops" visiting performer series that included Duke Ellington, Oscar winner,  Johnny Green and The Lettermen.

Returning to Atlanta, Sandy became President of Shenandoah, Inc., developer of New Town, Shenandoah, a 7,500 acre endeavor near Newnan,  which became the location of the first Atlanta Foreign Trade Zone of which Sandy was its first President.  He conceived and built the largest building entirely heated and cooled by solar energy in the world.  He served as Chairman of the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce International Task Force for four years organizing and leading Georgia’s highest officials on trips to Europe, Japan and Hong Kong, successfully obtaining investments, consulates and airlines to Atlanta.  This opened the way for Delta Airlines of Atlanta to introduce service to those several nations.

During the course of his career Sandy was hired to lead the turnaround of four failing companies. Each company was rescued and continued as thriving operations.

The Middle East Trip
In December 1978, at the request of President Carter’s Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, Sandy and three other Arab Americans agreed to travel to the Middle East on a "Fact-Finding" mission.  They met with heads of state and other high officials of eight Arab countries who had severed relations with the U.S. and Egypt.  The break in the relationships occurred  after the signing of a Peace agreement between Egypt and Israel.  The agreement, known as, "The Camp David Peace Accords", was negotiated by President Jimmy Carter at Camp David in September of 1978. 

During two very fast paced weeks they met for at least three hours with each of the heads of state of Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Lebanon. Additionally, a special meeting with Yassir Arafat, Chairman of the PLO, was held from midnight until 3 A.M. in West Beirut during the heavy fighting of the civil war.  From these face to face meetings with each of these leaders, from his copious notes, from Sheryl Ameen's verbatim notes (Sheryl Ameen was one of the four), their statements and photographs.

Sandy's new book, “The Camp David Peace Accords: 35 Years Later, No War No Peace.” is now available for purchase.

"Our report to the Secretary of State, Cyrus Vance, indicated that NOT ONE of the Arab countries would agree to negotiate a peace treaty with Israel unless Israel returned to the 1967 borders; evacuated the Syrian Golan, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza; paid recompense to the Palestinian people for the land taken; and endorsed a Palestinian state free of Israeli occupation."  - Sandy Simon, Author.

The Delray Years
Sandy returned to live in Delray Beach, rejoining his widowed mother, three brothers and their growing extended family, now in its fifth generation in his hometown.  Sandy quickly became involved in leading many successful commercial and civic projects.  These contributed to making Delray Beach and South Palm Beach County a much better place to live.  These projects included Atlantic Plaza, a special Moorish designed mixed use development of shops, offices, outdoor dining, and condominiums. 
He became Chairman of the Board of the Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden.  During his tenure, Morikami built its new museum and the beautiful seventeen acre Japanese gardens.  This was a joint venture with the Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation Department.

The Post Stroke Years
As a native and current resident of Delray Beach, Sandy was Chairman of the Steering Committees of Visions in 2000, 2005 and 2010.  He was also Chairman for the Decade of Excellence Bond Referendum, all of which led to the renaissance of Delray Beach.  Sandy continues to be involved in many real estate projects.
At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, his family’s life long house of worship, Sandy has again served on the Vestry and as Senior Warden.

...and as St Paul's enters a new time of service with the installation of it's newest rector the Rev. Paul Kane. Sandy and Christy are seen here at the latest Meet and Greet with the Rev Paul and his wife.

Civic Leadership and Volunteering
Sandy was named National Volunteer of the Year by the National Association of County Parks Executives, Volunteer of the Year by Palm Beach County and is the recipient of the Savannah Bar Association Law Day Award.
In October 2004 at Old School Square, Delray Beach - Florida's Cultural Center bestowed on Sandy Simon and his brothers the coveted Life Achievement Award.  They were recognized as a family for their combined total of more than 120 years of civic leadership and self contributions to the quality of life in their community. (see photograph above)

Sandy was the former Chairman of the Florida Chapter of the Syrian American Forum and additionally holds board positions at the National Level of the Syrian American Forum.

Until Mr. Simon suffered his life-threatening debilitating cerebral hemorrhagic stroke and was declared "100% Disabled for life,"

He was honored to serve on the Board of Governors of St. Jude Children's Hospital in Memphis, TN.

The Simon Family legacy continues

On Wednesday, December 17th, the brothers  Ernie, Roy, Charlie and Sandy Simon, and their families attended the "soft Opening" of Urban Outfitters' new exciting  two story retail store located at 314 East Atlantic Avenue, the Grand opening occurred on the next evening. The store plans to be open six days each week, from 10 A.M. through 10 P.M.

In 1936 their parents Alex and Linda Simon bought that vacant, sandy tree covered lot and built a retail store. Sections of the original wall at the entry remain.

The Simon family, considered among the early pioneers as their grandfather arrived in Delray in 1912 and the family is now in its fifth generation living in their hometown. The family has been instrumental in helping and leading efforts in maintaining the unique and "small town culture" of their hometown.

At 11,000 square feet, it is the largest retail store in downtown Delray Beach. Designed in the style of a rustic "warehouse" the interior is the motif of Urban Outfitters nationwide. The store is designed to attract a younger set, from 16 to 30, and features casual attire for women and men with some furniture and accessories.

Roy Simon added "We spent two years searching for the right store to bring to Delray Beach, a store that would be compatible with our town's quality of life and a younger beach side crowd.

Roy Simon, the family's architect managed the restoration of the building in coordination with the tenant's architects and management.

All the brothers added, "We invite all our friends and their families to come to Urban Outfitters and see the great clothing, sportswear, bathing suits and sometimes "funky" accessories!"


Currently, Sandy is spending six months a year in his hometown of Delray Beach, Florida, where he remains active in civic affairs and he participates in his family’s real estate holdings in the city.

Delray Beach is experiencing, as is all of South Palm Beach County, incessant population growth above 5% per year, meaning the population of the area will likely double each 14 years pushing prices of real estate ever higher. It also brings with it significant cultural change, ever increasing traffic, and a heavy impact on mobility and the community’s quality of life. Still, Delray Beach has become a major dining and entertaining mecca of southeast Florida, an exciting city.

The other 6 months of the year, Sandy lives in the small village of Lakemont, Rabun County, Georgia just two hour’s drive from the city of Atlanta, in the far northeast part of the state which is totally different than South Palm Beach County. The region experiences very slow growth, with a village culture and high quality of life, ease of mobility and an area where 85% of the land is in Federal and State forest, holding rapid growth to a minimum.  Sandy is enjoying his fourth career in Rabun County, where he has purchased several older commercial buildings, renovated them and leased them as an active

investor. His efforts are aimed at attracting young, entrepreneurs to the county to better serve the citizens and their upscale taste. He has eschewed the roll of developer to become an investor landlord. (He has come to realize having recently celebrated his 80th. birthday in November 2017, that he as active as he was 50).  His residence is in a modest cottage on the Tallulah River with his companion Christy, a pianist and former teacher, where he enjoys bird watching, serving and attending St. James Episcopal Church in Clayton where he has found many friends. He still is a man of business, philanthropy, words, colors, and is very much content happy and at peace.