Sam Simon, a producer and writer best known as the co-creator of The Simpsons, passed away on Sunday, March 8 at the age of 59, TMZ reports. Simon, who along with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks started Fox’s beloved animated TV show in 1989, had been suffering from a long battle with colon cancer.
Simon was diagnosed in 2012 and given only six months to live.
Following the news of Simon’s passing, his foundation posted on the official Facebook page, writing, “It is with much sadness that we must let you know that Sam Simon has passed over. We all miss him, and in his honor, we will continue bringing his vision to light through our work at The Sam Simon Foundation. We take comfort in knowing how many greetings he is receiving across that Rainbow Bridge. We love you Sam!”
In November 2014, he sat down with Maria Shriver for NBC News, saying, “Cancer is a horrible disease. It’s a fight. It’s a journey. It’s tough. But, if you want publicity, and if you want to pick up girls, then cancer is the greatest thing in the world.”
Thanks to creating the longest-running show on TV, Simon amassed a fortune of around $100 million, which he promised to leave entirely to charity. Prior to his death, he ran the Sam Simon Foundation’s “Feeding Families” program, which helped to feed close to 400 families daily in Los Angeles.
Simon was also a producer on ‘80s hit shows Taxi and Cheers.
Even toward the end, Simon remained positive, telling Shriver, “I feel great. Somehow I ended up surrounded by people that love me and take care of me and would do anything for me. It's a good feeling. That's called happiness. I think I may have had a problem letting it in before."
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