Sam Simon, the co-creator of The Simpsons has died. He was 59.
Simon passed away Sunday at his home in Los Angeles following a long, difficult battle with colon cancer. Simon was diagnosed in 2012 and was very public that his disease was terminal. TMZ reported that Simon was surrounded by his family when he died. This included his dog, who was very special in Simon’s life. Simon previously announced he would be leaving his nearly $100 million fortune to his various charities.
The Sam Simon Foundation told TMZ:
For those of us who knew him, his voice will forever echo in our minds; his sense of humor will continue to make us laugh; and his compassion and generosity will continue to impact our lives.
Sam, you will be missed by many, but there is a particular sadness among our clinic staff. We have been together for so long, and your absence will forever leave a void in our lives.
Simon won seven Emmy awards for his work on The Simpsons and two for his work on The Tracey Ullman Show where the Simpons characters got their start. He created the full length television show for FOX alongside Matt Groening and James L. Brooks in 1989, and it is now the longest-running primetime series in American television.
Simon left the show in 1993 after four seasons, reportedly tired of the daily grind involved with producing a weekly series. However, according to CNN, he worked out a deal “tied to home video sales that he said paid him ‘tens of millions’ every year. The agreement also guaranteed him executive producer credit long after he departed, and his name appears in the credits of every episode.”
Besides working on The Simpsons, Simon also served as the showrunner on the sitcom Taxi at the age of 23 — an incredibly young age for anyone in television. He also wrote for and produced the classic comedies Cheers and The Drew Carey Show, and created a series for legendary stand-up comic George Carlin.
For a detailed look at his career, along with the charities he helped, visit CNN.
(Sam Simon Dead: Lead image from smellslikehumanspirit.com)