Sam Simon, who has only months to live, will donate to organizations tackling homelessness and cruelty to animals, particularly dogs.
Nine-time Emmy winner and co-creator of The Simpsons, Sam Simon, is dying. He was diagnosed earlier this year with “aggressive colorectal cancer that had metastasized and spread to his liver, kidneys, abdomen, and lymph system,” and was given 3 to 6 months to live. With the realization that his life was coming to an end, he has decided to leave almost all of his considerable fortune to charity.
According to Gawker:
Over the years, Simon’s also established himself as a major philanthropist, founding the animal-rescue organization Sam Simon Foundation and contributing significantly to the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, PETA, and Save the Children.
In an in-depth interview with the Hollywood Reporter Simon explained:
I don’t think the spirit of Hollywood is such a spirit of generosity. I think people really begrudge giving. In New York, it’s like that. A lot of charities spend a million dollars on a fundraiser to make $15,000. It’s a social swirl. They do some great stuff and then — it’s called mission drift. It becomes more about the parties. You know, I’m not married, and I don’t have kids. I had an emergency operation when I was septic, and I really did come very close to dying. My colon cancer perforated my colon. When I woke up in the hospital, even though I did have a will, it did become that much more important to me to set this stuff up for the future. And the Rockefeller Foundation has consultants [Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors] who have been amazing. We found fantastic trustees. It’s something that will be living after I’m gone.
Simon also started buying circuses and zoos while he was hospitalized last December, with the singular purpose of shutting them down. He said, “I just wanted to have some days where I get to see animals walk in grass for the first time … 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.”