Sam Simon, a nine-time Emmy winner and co-creator of The Simpsons, died on Sunday, March 8 of colorectal cancer, his reps confirmed. He was 59-years-old.
Sam — who previously wrote episodes for popular shows including ‘Taxi,’ ‘Cheers’ and ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ — passed away at his LA home two years after being diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Sam accepting a humanitarian award at the Writers Guild Awards in LA on Feb. 1, 2014.
In 1989, the star developed ‘The Simpsons’ with fellow writers Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. He subsequently co-wrote nearly a dozen ‘Simpsons’ episodes while working on the animated comedy and also serving as co-showrunner, character designer, creative consultant, creative supervisor, developer, and writer. He left in 1993 to pursue other projects.
Following the news of his death, ‘Simpsons’ executive producer Al Jean voiced his condolences via Twitter, calling Sam “a great man” before stating, “I owe him everything.”
— Al Jean (@AlJean) March 9, 2015
Prior to his passing, the esteemed director, writer, producer and philanthropist arranged for his $100 million fortune to be left to various charities.
“The truth is, I have more money than I’m interested in spending. Everyone in my family is taken care of. And I enjoy [giving back,]” he told ‘The Hollywood Reporter‘ in July 2013 of his decision to donate his wealth to non-profit organizations.
Our thoughts are with Sam’s friends and family during this difficult time.