George Otto Simms was born in Dublin in 1910. He took his BA, MA, BD, PhD, and DD degrees at Trinity College, Dublin. Ordained a priest of the Church of Ireland in 1936, he spent his working life in the service of the church and was Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland from 1969 until his retirement in 1980. A noted scholar and historian, he lectured and wrote extensively, particularly on The Book of Kells, on which he was internationally recognised as an expert. For almost 40 years he contributed a weekly religious feature,'Thinking Aloud', to the Irish Times. George Otto Simms died in 1991.
Exploring the Book of Kells was Dr. Simms first book for the younger reader and received wide acclaim. It was a winner of the Reading Association of Ireland Award, and together with his second book for children, Brendan the Navigator, Exploring the Ancient World, was joint winner of the BISTO Book of the Decade Award. His third and last book prior to his death was St. Patrick, The Real Story of Patrick, who became Ireland's Patron Saint.