After a long battle with cancer, “The Simpsons” co-creator Sam Simon passed away on Sunday. His death was announced via the Sam Simon Foundation Facebook page today. It said:
“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!”
Simon is best known for creating “The Simpsons” with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks in 1989. He reportedly earned nearly “tens of millions” annually off “The Simpsons” royalties.
Unfortunately, Simon was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2012 and given three months to live. During that time, he vowed to give his whole $100 million fortune to charity. Various charities received donations including PETA, Save the Children, a dog-rescue haven in Malibu, and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Why Did He Become So Generous?
While it’s not abnormal for wealthy individuals to give large sums to charity, one would wonder why he would give his entire fortune away. In a 2013 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Simon said:
” … I get pleasure from it. I love it. I don’t feel like it is an obligation. One of the things about animal rights, which is not the only thing that I care about in this world, is that your money can bring success. I see results. There is stuff happening, really good stuff, every week. I’m not sure you get that with a lot of disease charities. If you were donating to environmental causes for the past 20 years, do you think your money is doing anything? Because I don’t, and I used to support some conservationist stuff — Sierra Club, World Wildlife Fund. They’re treading water. Climate change is a big part of their problem. The environment has been destroyed, basically.”
When asked what changes he’d like to see in the world, he said:
“I want medical experiments on animals stopped. They don’t do anything, and they don’t work. Veganism is an answer for almost every problem facing the world in terms of hunger and climate change. It helps people’s health. Meat is the biggest greenhouse gas producer. There’s also the cruelty and suffering aspect. When people do meatless Mondays, and when people adopt instead of buying a dog, that’s a PETA victory.”
In a documentary on Fusion about his life last August, Simon said:
“The truth is, I have more money than I’m interested in spending. Everyone in my family is taken care of. And I enjoy this.”