"The Simpsons" shown all over the world, at 26 years is the
longest-running sitcom in television history. It was created by
Matt Groening, James L. Brooks and Sam Simon.
Sam, previously a writer and producer for such successful and
syndicated sitcoms as "Taxi" and "Cheers" brought a level of
depth to the show seldom seen in animated shows.
He introduced a wide range of compelling characters, hired top writers and created story lines that would
parody a famous Hollywood movie or a global political leader
in one show segment, while having the family dog outsmart
Homer Simpson in the next segment.
But Sam had a significant problem.
He was difficult to work with.
Sam acknowledged this and after four seasons, he left "The
Simpsons." Yet even after leaving the show, Sam remained
credited as executive producer.
When "The Simpsons" went into syndication, he began
receiving "tens of millions" of dollars.
But here is the best part of our story: Sam donated nearly all
the money to charity.
For example, the Malibu based Sam Simon Foundation rescues
and trains dogs to assist disabled people, including Iraq and
Afghanistan war veterans. Its dogs also visit people in managed
And the Foundation seeks to find loving homes for every
homeless dog it adopts.
There are many other recipients as well such as People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and The Sea Shepherd
Society, which actively opposes whale hunting.
His Foundation also provides free vegan meals to 400 families
in need, vegan meals because Sam loved animals and was a
But 2 1/2 years ago Sam learned he had terminal colorectal
cancer and was told he had three to six months to live. He was
determined to beat that dire prediction and he did.
However on March 8th, 2015 Sam passed away in his Los
Angeles area home at the age of 59.
Sam was divorced and had no children, and by the time of his
passing, most of his money had been contributed to charity.
And because "The Simpsons" continues to produce new shows, in addition to the continuing revenue from over 575 episodes in syndication, all those shows will continue to produce residual income for those charities, for many years to come.