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Tue, Nov. 29 at 7pm – PS Illinois: The Paul Simon Story

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Enjoy this 90-minute documentary chronicling the life of the late corruption fighting newspaper publisher and former Lieutenant Governor, U.S Congressman, and U.S. Senator Paul Simon (1928-2003).

P.S. Illinois: The Paul Simon Story covers Simon's life and distinguished career from his early days as a crusading journalist in Troy, Illinois to his service in the Illinois General Assembly as a Representative and Senator, to his statewide service as Lt. Governor, and then through his five terms in the U. S. House and two terms in the U. S. Senate. It also provides personal interviews with friends and family, and those who worked with him closely in government.

Tune in Tue, Nov. 29 at 7pm on the WSIU stations: WSIU 8.1, WUSI 16.1, WSEC 14.1, WQEC 27.1 and WMEC 22.2 or access the WSIU local broadcast livestream online at pbs.org or via the PBS Video app. Get extended access to this program and more with WSIU Passport.

About the Program
“Paul Simon was one of the most outstanding political leaders the State of Illinois has ever produced,” says John S. Jackson, visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute. “This documentary provides personal interviews with friends, family, and those who worked with him closely in government and who knew him well. It will become a classic treatment of an Illinois political giant.”

The documentary project began in 2001 when SIU Cinema and Photography undergraduate student Erik Mauck began interviewing many of Simon's colleagues, family, and friends.

“Erik was absolutely tireless in seeking out everyone from Paul's mother, Ruth, to former legislative colleagues Anthony “Tony” Scariano, Alan Dixon, Abner Mikva, and others,” says WSIU producer Jak Tichenor.

Among the dozens of people interviewed by Mauck for the documentary are former Simon campaign advisor David Axelrod, former Saturday Night Live comedian Al Franken, Troy Tribune staffer Ray Johnson, SIU history professor John Y. Simon, daughter and son Sheila and Martin Simon, and former St. Louis Post-Dispatch Statehouse correspondent Taylor Pensoneau.

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Tichenor, who had covered Simon's career since 1981, began collecting interviews for the program following Simon's passing. He talked with author Studs Terkel, Washington Post political reporter David Broder, America's Most Wanted host John Walsh, and former Simon press secretary Terry Michael, among others.

Chicago television reporters Carol Marin and Andy Shaw also share their insights into Simon's career, along with former Des Moines Register political reporter and the former Simon Institute executive director David Yepsen.

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