Paul Simon was born on October 13, 1941, in Newark, New Jersey, United States. His father, Louis Simon was a college professor, double bass player, and dance bandleader who performed under the name "Lee Sims." His mother, Belle Simon, was an elementary school teacher. In 1945, his family moved to the Kew Gardens Hills section of Flushing, Queens, in New York City.
Paul grew up with a passion for baseball and music, particularly jazz and folk, and as he entered his teens, he developed a taste for the doo-wop and R&B sounds that were a staple of Alan Freed's radio broadcasts, as well as first-generation rockabillies such as Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins. When Simon was 11 years old, he met Art Garfunkel, and the two became fast friends who discovered they shared an interest in music.