The Surprising Link Between Carly Simon And The Great Gatsby

I had no idea.
Taylor Hill via Getty Images

Chances are you know Carly Simon from hits like You’re So Vain and Mockingbird. Perhaps you’ve heard her Bond theme Nobody Does It Better, or even read her children’s books (she wrote several).

But it’s far more likely that you’ve read something her father was responsible for getting published. That’s because her dad, Richard L. Simon, was the co-founder of American publishing house Simon & Schuster.

The company is responsible for releasing titles like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Hang The Moon, and Someone Like You.

The Great Gatsby, Farewell to Arms, and Cry, the Beloved Country were also published by Scribner, which Simon & Schuster acquired in 1994.

Carly Simon (aptly) wrote about her experiences growing up

Carly – whose mother, Andrea Heinemann Simon, was a singer and civil rights activist – grew up with two sisters (who also went pursued careers in music) and a brother.

The future Grammy winner quit college early to join her sister Lucy in the band The Simon Sisters. However, Bob Dylan’s manager eventually persuaded her to pursue a solo career.

In her 2015 biography Boys In The Trees, the singer recalled what it was like growing up with her publishing big-wig dad and activist mother.

Guests to her childhood home included Albert Einstein, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Charles Addams, she wrote.

Dodger’s star Jackie Robinson, the first Black baseball player to play in the American major leagues during the 1900s, even taught a young Carly how to play baseball.

“Jackie even taught me to bat lefty, though it never took,” she wrote in the biography.

“He always had the cutest look around the side of his mouth, as if he were thinking about what he was about to say before he said it.”

Her father was a complicated man

She also wrote in her biography that her dad was pushed out of the company he’d helped to found and died young.

“Like some time-bent sailor, he did what he could to steer a course through his own sadness,” she wrote of her dad.

The singer’s biography, in the end, was published by Constable.


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