TABLE OF CONTENTS
Manuscript Collection No. 27
Harry Simonhoff was born in Lithuania (circa 1893), the son of Rabbi Jacob J. and Jennie (Shapiro) Simonhoff. In 1896 the Simonhoff family immigrated to the United States, settling first in Atlanta, Georgia and then in Charleston, South Carolina. At the age of twenty or twenty-one Simonhoff entered the College of Charleston by special examination since he had never attended high school. Simonhoff received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the College of Charleston in 1917. He went on to receive a law degree from the University of South Carolina in 1919 and completed a special studies program at the Harvard University Law School in 1920.
After completing his studies, Simonhoff returned to Charleston to begin his private law practice. In 1921-1922 he served as a representative for two terms in the South Carolina State Legislature.
In 1925 Simonhoff moved to Miami, Florida in order to set up a law practice with his younger brother, Samuel. They participated in the Florida land speculation boom and, within two years, reportedly made and subsequently lost one million dollars. By the 1930s, however, the brothers had sufficiently recovered to build a hotel along Miami Beach.
In Miami, Simonhoff participated in many Jewish activities. He assisted in the founding of Miami's B'nai B'rith lodge, was a delegate to the American Jewish Conference in 1943, became a trustee of Miami's Mt. Sinai Hospital and was active in the Miami Zionist District and the Miami United Palestine Appeal.
After World War II, Simonhoff spent the majority of his time in literary and historical pursuits. In 1948 he began writing a weekly column, "I'll Say," for The Jewish Floridian, where he commented on contemporary and historical events. In July 1952 Simonhoff ended producing a regular weekly column but he continued "I'll Say" on a sporadic basis through 1955. In 1953 Simonhoff began writing another column for newspapers, "American Notables," where he presented biographical sketches of significant Jewish personalities. Simonhoff also published several books: Under Strange Skies (1953), Jewish Notables of America, 1776-1865 (1956), Saga of American Jewry, 1865-1914 (1959), (these latter two are the culmination of his "American Notables" column), Jewish Participants in the Civil War (1962), and The Chosen One (1963).
In 1953 Simonhoff married Ilse Danziger, who had immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1910. Harry Simonhoff died on October 4, 1966 in Miami Beach, Florida.
The Harry Simonhoff Papers consist of four boxes of literary manuscripts, articles, newsclippings, nearprint, and letters of Simonhoff, a Miami, Florida attorney and author. The papers reflect Simonhoff's interest in American Jewish history and his activities within the Miami Jewish community. These papers span the years 1948-1966.
This collection is arranged in three (3) series:
Terms of Access
The collection is open for use; no restrictions apply.
Terms of Reproduction and Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce, with exceptions for fair use, may be obtained through the American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio. Please address queries to the Executive Director of the American Jewish Archives. For more information, see the American Jewish Archives copyright information webpage.
Footnotes and bibliographic references should refer to the Harry Simonhoff Papers and the American Jewish Archives. A suggestion for at least the first citation is as follows:
[Description], [Date], Box #, Folder #. MS-27. Harry Simonhoff Papers. American Jewish Archives, Cincinnati, Ohio.
The Harry Simonhoff Papers were received from Rachel Simonhoff, Miami, Florida, in 1977-1979.
Processed by M. Carolyn Dellenbach and Jeff Kahn, May 1978
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the AJA's online catalog.
Persons and Families
Simonhoff, Harry -- 1891-1966
Jews -- Florida -- Miami
Genres and Forms