Reston founder Robert E. Simon, Jr. dies at 101

WASHINGTON — The man who founded Reston, Virginia, more than 50 years ago died Monday at the age of 101.

Robert E. Simon, Jr. — the “founder and soul” of Reston — died peacefully at his home, according to the Reston Historic Trust.

“Beloved in his community, Mr. Simon is remembered for his keen intelligence, wonderful wit, and spirited involvement in all aspects of Reston’s life.  We all will miss him,” the Reston Historic Trust said in a news release.

Simon founded Reston on April 10, 1964. It was one of the first master-planned communities in the U.S.

In an interview with WTOP in 2014, Simon said he knew Reston would be so successful.

“Yes, I sure as hell did [know it would be successful,” Simon said. “That was the program. The program was for 75,000 people with seven village centers and one town center.”

Simon offered advice for future generations of Restonians.

“Get out of your rooms where you keep your high-techery. Get outside. Get on a bicycle. Get on the tennis court. Row a boat, paddle a boat, sail a boat. All the things that make life for a fuller life than just exercising your thumbs,” said Simon.

A memorial service will be held later at a date to be announced, the Reston Historic Trust said.

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