Stephen Simms was born in 1940 in Charleston, West Virginia. He graduated from high school in 1958 as a record-breaking athlete. He continued track and football during his time at Rutgers, until earning his bachelor’s in political science in 1962.
While he was called to enlist after completing his undergraduate studies, Mr. Simms deferred his military service until 1965. He signed with the New York Giants but ended up not making the team. Simms completed his law degree at West Virginia University. He served in the Army in Germany, where he worked as Deputy Commander of European Exchange Systems until 1968.
Upon his return to the United States, he spent a few years working with an insurance firm and then a Chrysler dealership in West Virginia. Mr. Simms eventually settled into a career with franchising, taking on a position as Director of Development for a store chain called Piece Good Shops. In 1975, he started as a corporate attorney for Family Dollar in Charlotte, North Carolina. A year later, he took on a position as Real Estate Director. He remained with Family Dollar for over twenty years, after which he briefly worked land development for CVS before his retirement.