The Inspiring Story Of the Terminally-Ill 'Simpsons' Co-Creator, Who Wants to Donate His Fortune to Charity

Sam Simon, co-creator of The Simpson's TV franchise, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer, but he is making sure his legacy lives on.

The nine-time Emmy winning TV writer and producer of The Drew Carey Show, Anger Management, Taxi, and Cheers has announced that he will donate his fortune to charity. Together with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, Simon co-wrote The Simpsons, now the longest-running scripted show in TV history.

He left the  show in 1993 to focus on other "TV options and philanthropic endeavors." 


Source: Gawker

Simon has been the man behind multiple philanthropic efforts including a dogs for veterans service that bears his name, The Sam Simon Foundation. He has also been an active contributor to organizations such as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, PETA, and Save the Children. An avid defender of animal rights, we can expect that a portion of Simon's fortune will go towards this charity he is so passionate about. 


Source: The Hollywood Reporter

The TV writer has ensured that his iconic legacy and philanthropic nature will live on once he is gone. Five months ago the writer was diagnosed with a terminal case of colorectal cancer, which has spread to infect his liver, kidneys, abdomen and lymph system. When the doctors predicted that Simon would most likely have only three to six months to live, Simon got to thinking about how he would like to be remembered.

According to The Telegraph, Simon does not know the total value of his estate, but his impressive Simpsons earning — "which he has said earn him "tens of millions" annually" — will be a part of the fortune that he donates to charity. 

Simon is currently unmarried and despite his previous marriages to Jennifer Tilly and Jami Ferrell, he remains childless. He has devoted to give his fortune to organizations that can use it to help others; "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," said Simon to The Hollywood Reporter.

The huge act of generosity that Simon is displaying is certainly uncommon today. Although many celebrities are generous advocates of their preferred charities, there are others who live lives of excess. Simon's selfless donation is a breath of fresh air. "I don't think the spirit of Hollywood is such a spirit of generosity. I think people really begrudge giving, he said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. 

Simon is not the first extremely wealthy celebrity to give back to the less fortunate. In 2007, Barron Hilton of the Hilton hotel chain donated 97% of his net worth (estimated at around $2.3-billion) to his father's charity, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, reported the Los Angeles Times. Johnny Carson, the late King of Comedy and mega-millionaire, left a trust fund for The Johnny Carson Foundation that has by now grown to about $200 million.

Sam Simon is an example of a celebrity who has remained grounded and tied to his core values despite the forces of wealth and fame. He will be remembered long after he is gone for his admired television achievements and philanthropic nature. 

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Hannah Loewentheil

I am a Senior at Brown University where I am studying international relations and non-fiction writing. Follow me on twitter @hrl792.

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