Though Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon has given us 25 years of one of the greatest shows ever, he still continues to give generously to those who need it most. While this might not seem out of the ordinary for a wealthy director and writer, what makes it extraordinary is that while Simon is suffering from terminal cancer, he wants to give away his entire multi-million dollar fortune to charity before he eventually dies from the disease.
Two years ago, Simon was diagnosed with colon cancer and given just months to live, but having defied those odds, he has now decided to give away his money to provide for the less fortunate of both the two and four legged varieties.
Simon is a huge advocate for animal rights, and for the last 12 years has funded the Sam Simon Foundation, which rescues and retrains stray dogs so that they will be fit for adoption or to be used as service dogs. He has also used his prominent status to call attention to other animal charities like PETA and the Canadian Sealers Association.
In a recent interview he had this to say about his animal charity work:
A lot of it's selfish. I get to see these animals that have spent their whole lives in concrete bunkers take their first steps on grass [and] I get to fly my friends out there.
Hmm, I somehow don't think that watching the animals you helped rehabilitate would be classified as being selfish!
But his charity work doesn't end with the animal kingdom. In 2011 he established the Sam Simon Foundation Feed Families program, which is a vegan food-bank that helps up to 400 families per day. He also donated money to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society to buy a new boat, which fittingly, is named the MY Sam Simon, and is a board member for Save the Children.
Recently Sam spoke to Maria Shriver about his cancer diagnosis, and it was evident that although his diagnosis is grim, he still maintained that sense of humor that has made million laugh:
Cancer is a horrible disease, I’m struggling with it...If you want publicity and if you want to pick up girls, cancer is the greatest thing in the world.
Best of luck to you Sam, between The Simpsons and the outstanding charity work, your legacy will live on for generations to come.