Jim Simons

American mathematician and hedge fund manager

James Harris Simons (/ˈsmənz/; April 25, 1938 – May 10, 2024) was an American mathematician, billionaire hedge fund manager, and philanthropist.[3] He was known as a quantitative analyst. In 1982, Simons founded Renaissance Technologies. He is seen as the greatest investor on Wall Street.[4]

James Simons
Simons in 2007
Born(1938-04-25)April 25, 1938
DiedMay 10, 2024(2024-05-10) (aged 86)
EducationMassachusetts Institute of Technology (BS)
University of California, Berkeley (MS, PhD)
Occupation(s)Hedge fund manager, mathematician, philanthropist, financial analyst
Known forFounding and managing Renaissance Technologies
Simons formula
Chern–Simons form
(m. 1959; div. 1974)
  • Marilyn Hawrys[1]
Children5, including Nat[1]
AwardsOswald Veblen Prize (1976)[2]
Scientific career
FieldsDifferential geometry, cryptography, quantitative financial analysis
ThesisOn the Transitivity of Holonomy Systems (1962)
Doctoral advisorBertram Kostant
Doctoral studentsJeff Cheeger

As reported by Forbes, his net worth as of October 2019 is estimated to be $21.6 billion, making Simons the 21st-richest man in the United States.[5]

Early life and education


James Harris Simons was born on April 25, 1938 in Newton, Massachusetts.[6][7] to an American Jewish family,[8] the only child of Marcia (née Kantor)[9] and Matthew Simons, and raised in Brookline, Massachusetts.[10]

He received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1958[11] and a PhD in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley under supervision of Bertram Kostant in 1961 at the age of 23.[11] After graduating from MIT, Simons traveled from Boston to Bogotá, Colombia on a motor scooter.[12]

Honors and awards


In 2008, he was inducted into Institutional Investors Alpha's Hedge Fund Manager Hall of Fame along with Alfred Jones, Bruce Kovner, David Swensen, George Soros, Jack Nash, Julian Robertson, Kenneth Griffin, Leon Levy, Louis Bacon, Michael Steinhardt, Paul Tudor Jones, Seth Klarman and Steven A. Cohen.[13]

He was named by the Financial Times in 2006 as "the world's smartest billionaire".[14] He was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2007.[15] In 2011, he was included in the 50 Most Influential ranking of Bloomberg Markets Magazine.[16]

A book about Simons and his investing methods, The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution by Gregory Zuckerman was released November 5, 2019.[17] In 2018, Trinity College Dublin awarded him with an honorary doctorate.[18]

Simons died on May 10, 2024 in New York City at the age of 86.[19]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Teitelbaum, Richard (January 2008). "The Code Breaker". Bloomberg Markets Magazine. Bloomberg LP. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved January 7, 2010.
  2. Broad, William J. (July 7, 2014). "A Billionaire Mathematician's Life of Ferocious Curiosity". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 5, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  3. "Jim Simons". Forbes.
  4. Zuckerman, Gregory (2019-11-02). "The Making of the World's Greatest Investor". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2019-11-03.
  5. "Jim Simons". Forbes.
  6. "Bloomberg Billionaires Index – Jim Simons". Bloomberg.com. Archived from the original on February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 25, 2018 – via www.bloomberg.com.
  7. "RENAISSANCE INSTITUTIONAL MANAGEMENT (UK) LIMITED". Companies House. Archived from the original on October 27, 2020. Retrieved 26 November 2017.
  8. "The Jewish Billionaires of Forbes". jspace.com. March 14, 2012. Archived from the original on March 28, 2012. Retrieved September 7, 2013.
  9. Boston Globe: "Marcia (Kantor) Simons Obituary" Archived August 13, 2014, at the Wayback Machine retrieved March 31, 2013.
  10. Bloomberg: "Simons at Renaissance Cracks Code, Doubling Assets (Update1)" By Richard Teitelbaum Archived April 16, 2012, at the Wayback Machine November 27, 2007
  11. 11.0 11.1 "James Simons". Mathematics Genealogy Project. AMS. Archived from the original on July 24, 2014. Retrieved August 8, 2014.
  12. Schaffer, Amanda (18 October 2016). "The Polymath Philanthropist". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 2021-11-22.
  13. "Cohen, Simons, 12 Others Enter Hedge Fund Hall". Institutional Investor. Institutional Investor LLC. 23 September 2008. Archived from the original on June 16, 2019. Retrieved 16 June 2019.
  14. "Alternative Rich List". FT.com. September 22, 2006. Archived from the original on April 23, 2008. Retrieved November 8, 2007.
  15. "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2021-05-17.
  16. "Bloomberg Markets Most Influential 50". Bloomberg.com. September 8, 2011. Archived from the original on June 11, 2016. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  17. Wigglesworth, Robin (November 2019). "The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution". Financial Times. Archived from the original on May 11, 2020. Retrieved 2020-05-11.
  18. "Registrar : Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Ireland". www.tcd.ie. Archived from the original on October 30, 2019. Retrieved 2020-01-06.
  19. Sumner, Thomas (2024-05-10). "Simons Foundation Co-Founder, Mathematician and Investor Jim Simons Dies at 86". Simons Foundation. Archived from the original on May 10, 2024. Retrieved 2024-05-10.

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