William Edward Simon was an American businessman, a Secretary of Treasury of the U.S. for three years, and a philanthropist. He became the 63rd Secretary of the Treasury on May 9, 1974, during the Nixon administration. After Nixon resigned, Simon was reappointed by President Ford and served until 1977 when President Carter took office. Outside of government, he was a successful businessman and philanthropist. The William E. Simon Foundation carries on this legacy. He was a strong advocate of laissez-faire capitalism. He wrote, "There is only one social system that reflects the sovereignty of the individual: the free-market, or capitalist, system".