"The Simpsons" co-creator Sam Simon is dying from terminal colon cancer and plans to give away the bulk of his fortune.
In an interview released online Thursday by the The Hollywood Reporter
, Simon, 58, said he was diagnosed with cancer about five months ago. He confirmed his diagnosis on the May 16 edition of the "WTF Marc Maron" podcast, saying he was given three to six months to live.
Even though he left "The Simpsons" in 1993, royalty checks worth "tens of millions" continue to flow in annually. Simon said he plans to give it all to charity.
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"One thing is, I get pleasure from it. I love it," Simon said to The Hollywood Reporter about his charity giving. "I don't feel like it is an obligation. One of the things about animal rights, which is not the only thing that I care about in this world, is that your money can bring success. I see results. There is stuff happening, really good stuff, every week. I'm not sure you get that with a lot of disease charities."
Simon contributes to his own Sam Simon Foundation, worth nearly $23 million, which feeds hungry humans and stray animals. He also gives to PETA, Save the Children and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a global marine conservation organization, said The Hollywood Reporter.
"I was just an animal lover," Simon said of his interest in giving to animal charities. "Everything that the Sam Simon Foundation does is supposed to help dogs and people — that's our mission. I like dogs and meeting people whose dogs we've saved with our free-surgery day."
Simon won nine Emmy Awards as co-creator of "The Simpsons." James L. Brooks, executive producer of "The Tracey Ullman Show," brought together cartoonist Matt Groening and Simon when it was decided to turn "The Simpsons" animated shorts into a 30-minute show on Fox, according to CelebrityNetWorth.com
Simon served as the creative supervisor for the show that debuted on Dec. 17, 1989. He hired the original "Simpsons" writing staff, helped design the fictional town of Springfield, and created the show's characters Mr. Burns, Chief Wiggum, Bleeding Gums Murphy, and Dr. Hibbert, among others, said the website.
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