Co-Creator of 'The Simpsons,' Battling Terminal Cancer, Is Giving Away His Fortune THR
One of the co-creators of "The Simpsons," who made a fortune from the long-running show, is giving away millions as he struggles with terminal colon cancer, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Sam Simon, 58, retained the executive producer title after leaving the show in 1993, which helped build his fortune, the story says. "The 'Simpsons' money got bigger and bigger," he tells the publication. "When I left 'The Simpsons,' no one thought that this thing was going to still be around. It's the cumulative effect. It's like, 'Oh my God, 25 years later, and it's still coming in.'"
Simon was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer five months ago, and was given three to six months to live, the piece notes. He has vowed to donate almost all of his "Simpsons" royalties, which he has estimated at "tens of millions" annually, to charity.
He founded the Sam Simon Foundation, which provides food for people (vegan foods only) and stray dogs. He also supports the animal-rights group PETA, which named its Norfolk, Va., headquarters the Sam Simon Center, and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a marine conservation group.
Simon said he puts in about half a day per week on FX's "Anger Management," on which he's a consultant, and works on his radio show. "That's a good workload for me. I'm not supposed to drive anymore, but I do. I got into three accidents on my way home between Wilshire and 16th to here. I think they give me too much Ativan. That's the way it is now," he said.
As for his philanthropic work, he said he has always been an animal lover.
"Everything that the Sam Simon Foundation does is supposed to help dogs and people -- that's our mission. I like dogs and meeting people whose dogs we've saved with our free-surgery day," he said.
Asked about when he felt compelled to give away his money, Simon noted, "One thing is, 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."