You may not know his name, but you know his work. Sam Simon, co-creator of “The Simpsons,” has decided to give away the vast fortune he made from the show after being diagnosed with a terminal disease.
Facing stage-4 colon cancer and facing six months to live, Simon, who also helped produce series such as “Taxi” and “The Drew Carey Show,” is dedicating tens of millions of dollars to charitable causes, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Already known for his philanthropy, Simon has previously made contributions that include founding the Sam Simon Foundation that helps feed the hungry and shelter stray dogs, PETA, international nonprofit Save the Children; and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
After being told of his diagnosis, Simon told the publication that he immediately knew he wanted to make an impact that would be felt for generations.
“I was never that hands-on with any of it. I’ve just been fortunate to find great people to run things,” Simon told the publication about his charity work. “Frankly, one of the pleasures of the foundation is hanging out with the people because they are some of the nicest people in my life.”
Simon does not have any children after marriages to Jennifer Tilly and Playboy Playmate Jami Ferrell.
“I think it’s really nice for him that he’s doing it now and he gets to see the results of his philanthropy,” Tilly told the paper. “He really does have a passion to survive, and the longer he’s on the earth, the more good work he can do.”
Simon said that while people are dedicating buildings to him, his real joy is in helping those who can’t help themselves.
“The sort of lifetime achievement stuff that I’m getting now is kind of like Tom Sawyer’s funeral because they all know I’m sick,” he said. “I am getting buildings named after me and awards and stuff. 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.”