According to Simon, he and his team of artists, inkers and letterers started off with Hitler as the villain and then decided to create a living embodiment of American patriotism for a hero and use him as a foil.
"We just caught on immediately," he said. "I gave Jack Kirby the scripts. It was both of us that came up with it. We were both responsible."
Simon said he hoped the character would be as successful as he has been.
"Of course, we did that on every character we did . . . that it would last 1,000 years," he said. "But [with Captain America], it happened."
"The recognition, strangely enough, is not only in America but all over the world," he said. "I've had film crews here [at his home in New York City] from France and Germany and Canada and all over - and they all seem to love Captain America."
"It's very big in Ireland," he added. "People asked me to sign things 'Captain America.' I used to sign it, 'Captain America, On OUR Side.' Now I sign it, 'Captain America, On YOUR Side.' It's a worldwide thing."
Simon's creation burst on the scene, punching Hitler in the face on the cover of his first issue. He recently did a blow-up portrait in which he redid that cover and then did another illustration where he has Captain America punching Osama bin Laden in the face, and where Nazis in the background have been replaced by Arab terrorists. So far, the sketch has only been seen on TV shows like "Celebrity Justice."
Of course, many shy away from presenting such images and believe they are anti-Arab or jingoistic and that we need to be more sensitive. Simon is not one of them.
"I think that mentality . . . is not my mentality," Simon said. "I'm totally against those people. I didn't agree with them then [World War II] and I don't agree with them now. I'm for patriotism. I think if some of these people - especially young people - would take a page from Captain America, they would be better off than tearing into our troops the way they are."
As for those who try to use Captain America as a symbol for various political issues, Simon has a simple answer.
"Messages are for Western Union," he said, adding that other patriotic heroes he created, like the Fighting American and The Patriot, have not had nearly the amount of success as Captain America.
He believes it is because he and subsequent writers were careful not to make him a one-note character.
"If we had stuck to just patriotic stories, we'd have been out of business in a couple of issues," he said. "Captain America went on to horror stories and adventure stories of all kinds. He didn't spend his life just waving the flag."
Simon has not read the comics in a couple of years but may start reading them again - he said he has heard good things about the current stories. He said there is the possibility that his creation will hit the silver screen soon.
"I'm very excited about that," he said. "I heard they're working on a script and that they're looking to release it in 2007. This is gonna be a blockbuster."
Who would he like to see play Captain America?
"I'd pick these guys like the Brad Pitt-type of guy," he said. "I think anybody but [Tom] Cruise. He's crazy and he's too small."
Simon is confident the movie will do the character justice and believes it would be one of the high points for a character with which he has been identified for almost 65 years.
"I was 24 when I first started creating Captain America," he said. "It's been a guardian angel hanging over me my whole life. Everywhere I went - in the service or wherever - I wasn't Joe Simon; I was Captain America. It was like a cloud hanging over me, but a good cloud. I loved it." *
Joe Simon's work can be seen in his new book, "The Comic Book Makers" by Joe Simon (with son Jim), available now from Vanguard Publishing.