Published On: Tue, Mar 10th, 2015

‘Simpsons’ Co-Creator, Philanthropist Sam Simon Dead at 59

Simon donated to several other causes, including Mercy for Animals, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and for humans: a food bank Los Angeles.

 

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Director, producer, writer, boxing manager, animal-rights advocate and philanthropist Sam Simon died Sunday at his home in Pacific Palisades, California, from colon cancer, at age 59.

Samuel Michael Simon was born in Los Angeles, and grew up in Beverly Hills, opposite Groucho Marx’s house. Simon’s father was a Jewish cut-rate clothing manufacturer from Estonia.

Simon was a writer for the then breakthrough TV sitcoms “Taxi” and “Cheers, ” and for the sketch comedy “Tracey Ullman Show.”

In 1989, Simon, together with producer James L. Brooks and cartoonist Matt Groening, turned an animated segment on the Tracey Ullman Show into the standalone weekly animated sitcom.

Simon, who did not get along well with the show’s originator, Groening, did not expect the Simpsons to live on for longer than one season. As it turns out, the show, now in its 26th year, outlived Simon, who left over his frequent run-ins with Groening after four seasons, but continued to collect millions in residuals to his last day.

Simon invested his millions in the Sam Simon Foundation, which trains rescued dogs to help the disabled.

Simon donated to several other causes, including Mercy for Animals, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and for humans: a food bank Los Angeles.

In 2011, his foundation began a program providing free vegan meals to needy families with. When challenged about his forcing his nutritional views on others, Simon responded, “They can eat all the meat they want. I’m just not going to pay for it.”

According to AP, on Monday, Groening spoke of Simon’s “phenomenal talents, sharp intelligence and sly sense of humor.” Brooks said Simon was “truly one of the great ones. He found so much outside the work to give him pleasure and left so much behind for others.”

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