James Simons Net Worth & Biography

Popular Name: Jim Simons
Real Name: James Harris Simons
Birth Date: April 25, 1938
Birth Place: Newton, Massachusetts, United States
Age: 84
Gender: Male
Nationality/Citizenship: American
Height: N/A
Weight: N/A
Sexuality: Straight
Marital Status: Married
Spouse(s): Barbara Bluestein ​(m. 1959; div. 1974)​
Marilyn Hawrys
Children: 5
Profession: Businessman, Mathematician, Hedge Fund Manager, Philanthropist
Years active: N/A
Net Worth: $23.5 Billion
Last Updated: 2022

James Simons is a renowned American mathematician and billionaire hedge fund manager who founded the globally recognized Renaissance Technologies, one of the most successful hedge fund companies in the United States and beyond. A code breaker and expert in pattern recognition, Simons, through his expertise in the field, succeeded in employing mathematical models to analyze his company’s business management strategy. He amassed a large fortune through his investments and is regarded as a hero in the mathematical fraternity for the tremendous success he has achieved in his endeavors. Simons completed his bachelor’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before earning his doctorate at the age of 23. He proceeded to establish himself as an accomplished mathematician like he had always dreamed since he was a boy, primarily working in the fields of topology of manifolds and geometry. Over the course of his career, Mr. Simons taught mathematics at his alma mater and also worked with the National Security Agency to break codes. His fortune changed when he found Renaissance Technologies, and it made him an overnight billionaire. More details follow below.

Early Life: Childhood, Education

He was born James Harris Simons in Newton, Massachusetts, United States, in 1938, to Jewish parents Marcia and Matthew Simons. His father was the owner of a shoe factory.

James was just a boy when his interest in exploring nature and an inclination towards mathematics started to grow.

He joined the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1955 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics three years later. After that, he went on to pursue his doctorate in mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his doctorate in the year 1961, at the age of 23.

Professional Life: Entrepreneurial Career

After receiving his doctorate degree, James Simons embarked on an academic career. In 1964, he joined the Communications Research Division for the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) research staff in Princeton as a code breaker. He enjoyed this position a whole lot as he was naturally talented at coming up with algorithms to solve particular types of cryptographic problems. His time at the Institute for Defense Analyses proved to be a weighty learning experience for him. The knowledge he gained there on the subject of the utilization of mathematical representations to interpret data would greatly support him in establishing his business in the future.

Between 1964 and 1968 he taught mathematics at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Ultimately he joined Stony Brook University in the math department and was appointed chairman of the department in 1968. At Stony Brook University, he met and worked with fellow mathematician Shiing-Shen Chern to introduce the Chern-Simons invariants which are important geometric measurements that are useful not only in mathematics but also in both condensed matter physics and quantum field theory.

Renaissance Technologies Founder, James Simons

Being a man that had always been interested in finance, James Simons, during the 1970s, seriously started thinking of establishing his own business related to the finance field. In 1978, he quit academia and established a hedge fund management firm which he called Monemetrics. He recruited the most brilliant minds he knew from his time at Institute for Defense Analyses and Stony Brook University—mathematicians, engineers, scientists, data-modeling experts, and code breakers. The company performed exceptionally and the mathematical models they developed as a team gave better and better results as the years went by. In 1982, Simons changed the name of the company to Renaissance Technologies. The company grew manifold over the years that followed, employing complex mathematical models in analyzing and executing trades. Today, the company has more than 22 billion dollars in assets under management across all three funds it operates.

In 2009 James Simons retired as the company’s chief executive officer and became chairman of its board.

Achievements: Awards & Honors

Mr. Simons was elected to the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2014. His contribution to geometry and topology earned him an AMS Oswald Veblen Prize in Geometry in 1976.

In 2006, this businessman was honored by the International Association of Financial Engineers with the Financial Engineer of the Year Award. He has built a legacy for himself in the mathematical and finance fields, and he is renowned for his work across the globe.

Personal Life: Wife, Children, Private Interests

Simons was initially married to a computer scientist named Barbara Simons. However, their union ended in divorce.

At the current time, he is married to Marilyn Hawrys.

He had five children, but two of them died young adults in separate accidents.


James Simons and his beloved wife, Marilyn, launched the Simons Foundation in 1994 as a charitable organization that supports projects related to health, education, and research in mathematics and the sciences. In the year 2004 he founded the non-profit organization Math for America, which focuses on improving mathematics education in American public schools.

The Simons Foundation donated $60 million to open the Simons Center for Geometry and Physics at Stony Brook University. This donation is recorded as the largest gift to a public university in the history of New York state.

James Simons Net Worth: Salary, Income Sources, Assets

Jim Simons’ net worth ranks him 23rd on Forbes’ richest Americans list in 2020. With more than $23.5 billion currently tied to his name, James, also called The Quant King, is ranked as the highest-earning hedge fund manager alive.

This businessman has made most of his wealth through Renaissance Technologies’ Medallion fund. It is said that he has collected at least $9.5 billion from the fund over the last few years. He owns about 1.4 billion dollars of the 9 billion dollars the fund manages. He has also been credited with owning roughly 25 percent of the company, which is currently valued at about $2.8 billion total

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