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Neal F. Simeon Papers

Identifier: harsh-1979-02

Scope and Contents

Simeon was one of 16 teachers who organized Dunbar Trade School (now Dunbar Vocational High School) in 1948 and later served as acting Director of Dunbar. In 1962, Neal Simeon was asked by President John Kennedy to represent the United States Exhibit of New Tools, New Skills, and New Markets in Nigeria.


  • Creation: 1942-1967


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restriction

Conditions Governing Use

Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection

Biographical / Historical

Neal Ferdinand Simeon was born in Chicago in 1916 and was of Creole descent. He graduated from Doolittle Elementary School and went on to graduate from Wendell Phillips High School in 1934. Simeon received his Bachelor of Arts in Mechanical Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1938. He started working under Benjamin Willis at the Chicago Board of Education in 1942., and later served in the United States Navy from 1944-1945. After WWII, he went to Northwestern University and received a Master of Arts in Educational Administration. Simeon’s career as an educator began when he became a teacher at Wendell Phillips Evening High School. A short time later, he became a full time machine shop teacher at Dunbar Vocational High School where he successively served as Administrator, Placement Counselor, Assistant Principal, and as Director of Special Projects in Vocational Education. In 1961, the Chicago Board of Education appointed him Director of Vocational Education and Guidance Centers for the Chicago public schools. This position gave him a citywide voice in creating and developing vocational education for Chicago youth and made him the highest paid African American employee at the Board. Simeon represented the United States at the 1962 International Trade Fair in Lagos, Nigeria. Simeon died in 1963.


2 Linear Feet (in 2 boxes, includes 2 photographs and scrapbook)

Language of Materials



Simeon, one of the 16 teachers who organized Dunbar Trade School (now Dunbar Vocational High School) in 1948, later served as acting director of Dunbar and director of Vocational Education Centers for the Chicago Board of Education. His papers consist of scrapbooks of educational clippings, correspondence, photographs and college transcripts.


There are 4 series in this collection: Biography, Newspaper Clippings, Scrapbook and Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donation of Sharon Simeon [daughter of Neal Simeon] in 1979

Related Materials

Related materials at the Chicago Public Library include:

    Madeline Stratton Morris Papers
  • Warren and Mary Bacon Papers

Neal F. Simeon Papers
Beverly A. Cook
May 2021
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection Repository

Woodson Regional Library
Chicago Public Library
9525 S. Halsted Street
Chicago IL 60628 United States
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