William Edward Simon was a 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 8, 1974, during the Nixon administration. He was reappointed by President Ford and served until 1977. 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".