“He is Sam Simon, 59-year-old comedy force of nature, co-creator of The Simpsons, animal-rights activist, ardent vegan and philanthropist, art collector, poker champion, and a friend for 30 years. In the field of comedy writing, full to overflowing with the sedentary, the professionally whiny, and the proudly self-involved, Sam Simon stands out as an anomaly. Diagnosed with terminal colon cancer in 2012 and given three to six months to live, he is now focused like a laser, in a race against time, making sure that all that money—hundreds of millions of dollars—made from his years of work on The Simpsons and other television shows is being channeled directly into the charitable causes he loves.”
““I’m an atheist, but there’s a thing called tithing that a lot of religions do. Ten percent was the minimum you were supposed to give to charity every year. And I always outdid that,” Sam explains. In 2002 he started the multi-platform Sam Simon Foundation, one arm of which rescues animals from Los Angeles kill shelters and trains some of them to be service dogs for the hearing-impaired and veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Then there’s the mobile veterinary clinic, also in Los Angeles, which offers free surgery and free spay and neuter services. But it’s not just animals; another arm of the foundation funds the Feeding Families program, a vegan food bank that offers free meals to some 400 Los Angeles families a week. “We’re on track to distribute over a half-million pounds of food to more than 65,000 people this year,” its spokesman tells me. Sam is also the largest individual donor to Save the Children, which just announced a new global philanthropic community called the Simon Society.”
marc maron had a really good interview with him a few months back. aside from co-midwifing one of the greatest shows ever (and being involved in a bunch of other awesome shows like taxi), the guy is going out in a way that all should, should they be so fortunate. it’s pretty remarkable.