Sam Simon, who co-developed The Simpsons with fellow producers Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, passed away in his Los Angeles home yesterday as a result of his fight with colorectal cancer. Prior to the release of The Simpsons in 1989, Simon was known for writing for significant television properties such as Cheers and Taxi. Until he left The Simpsons in 1993, Simon served as co-showrunner, character designer, creative consultant, creative supervisor, developer, and writer. Though he had left the show, he maintained his title as Executive Producer.
Simon was also well known for his philanthropic ventures. An ardent animal lover, he started the Sam Simon Foundation, which rescued dogs and financed traveling animal surgery clinics for those who could not afford medical attention. He was an avid supporter of PETA, who in turn named a centre after him in Norfolk, Va. Simon also gave money to Save the Children and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a global marine conservation organization.
To those of us who have watched The Simpsons since its modest beginnings, and complain frequently about the shows current direction, seeing one of elder statesmen of the franchise go is rather heartbreaking. He was a creative force and will certainly be missed.
Simon as depicted in The Simpsons 138th Episode Spectacular
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