Robert E. “Bob” Simon, Jr., born on April 10, 1914 and died September 21, 2015, he was an American real estate entrepreneur, most known for founding the community of Reston, Virginia.
He was the maternal grandfather of feminist historian and writer Elizabeth Fox-Genovese.
Robert was born in New York City to a Jewish family that immigrated from Germany.
After graduating from Harvard University, Robert took over the family real estate management and development business.
In 1961, with the proceeds from the sale of a family property, Carnegie Hall, Robert purchased 6,750 acres (27 km²) of land in Fairfax County, Virginia and hired Conklin + Rossant to develop a master plan for the new town of Reston, Virginia, a planned community well known on the national level.
The town’s name was derived from Simon’s initials and the word “town”.
Robert’s new town concept emphasized quality of life for the individual and provided a community where people could live, work, and play without driving long distances.
Robert returned to live in Reston in 1993 and helped celebrate Reston’s 40th birthday in 2004.
In that same year a bronze statue of Simon was placed on a park bench in Washington Plaza on Lake Anne, the original heart of the community he built.
Robert E. Simon died at age 101 on September 21, 2015