Perhaps he has gone to live beyond the iconic “The Simpsons” blue sky dotted with fluffy clouds.
Sam Simon, a co-creator of Fox’s long-running hit animated series and an ardent philanthropist for animals, died after a battle with colon cancer. He was 59.
The writer-director, producer and philanthropist was first diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2012, and informed by doctors that he had a maximum of 6 months left to live.
After surviving the diagnosis, he announced that he was planning to donate USD100 million of his fortune to charity, focusing primarily on animal organisations, and on charities dedicated to helping the homeless. He founded The Sam Simon Foundation, dedicated to rescuing and rehoming stray dogs, in 2002.
The Sam Simon Foundation posted a statement upon news of his death:
“The Simpsons” co-creator Matt Groening, who worked with Sam Simon to develop the show for Fox’s broadcast channel, said in a statement, “We will miss Sam’s phenomenal talents, sharp intelligence, and sly sense of humour.” while executive producer and showrunner Al Jean added, “I personally owe him more than can be repaid, but I will do my best to help every animal I can in his memory.”
Growing up in Beverly Hills, California, Sam Simon embraced art and was selling cartoons to San Francisco newspapers while still a student at Stanford University. He later went on to write for a number of television shows, including NBC’s “Taxi” (which he later became showrunner for) and “Cheers”.
In 1988, he joined cartoonist Matt Groening and producer James L. Brooks in creating a prime-time series about a bumbling father and his wayward family. And that would go on to become his his best-known legacy, “The Simpsons”, which he co-created alongside Matt Groening. The first episode of the much-loved animated show aired on Fox in 1989.
He oversaw the writing staff and helped develop the characters populating the dysfunctional world around the oafish but endearing Homer Simpson: his dutiful wife, Marge, and their children, bratty Bart, overachieving Lisa and baby Maggie.
Sam Simon won 9 Emmy awards for his work as a writer and executive producer of “The Simpsons”. It became the longest-running sitcom on American TV. “Sam helped establish the tone and world of the Simpsons in the early years of this landmark series, and his contributions live on,” Fox Television group said in a statement.
Our hearts go out to the “The Simpsons” crew.
Rest in peace, Sam Simon.