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'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon dies at 59

By Sravanth Verma     Mar 10, 2015 in Entertainment
Los Angeles - Sam Simon, nine-time Emmy Award-winning comedy writer and producer of "The Simpsons" cartoon show, died, Sunday evening at the age of 59.
Simon passed away at his Pacific Palisades home from colon cancer, which he was diagnosed with in February 2013. "He was a genius and a great humanitarian in ways public and private. I personally owe him more than can be repaid, but I will do my best to help every animal I can in his memory," said Simpsons executive producer Al Jean in a statement. Matt Groening, fellow creator of the cartoon said, "We will miss Sam's phenomenal talents, sharp intelligence, and sly sense of humor. He is gone from our industry too soon."
Simon's career took off at age 23 when he was the showrunner for the sitcom Taxi. He also wrote for and produced the iconic sitcom Cheers and later The Drew Carey Show. In the 1990s, he created a series on Fox for legendary stand-up comic George Carlin. In 1991, he also wrote the script for the movie, The Super, produced by 20th Century Fox and starring Joe Pesci as a New York slumlord. Simon also served as consultant for the Charlie Sheen show Anger Management.
Simon was also a philanthropist. He led the Simpsons writing staff for four seasons, after which he continued to receive around $20 million to $30 million a year, thanks to deal which guaranteed him a share of the show's future earnings. After his cancer diagnosis, he announced that he would donate his wealth to charity. His donations mostly went towards social causes, primarily to animal welfare. He also founded the Sam Simon Foundation in 2002, a non-profit which rescued dogs from shelters and trained them to assist the disabled.
"I have a desire to help animals," Simon said in an interview in 2014. "It's my money and I get to do what I want with it. It's an expensive hobby I picked up at the end of my life." According to the Wrap, he donated over $100 million to charities.
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