58-year-old writer and producer Sam Simon made his name (and a huge fortune) as the co-creator of The Simpsons. A noted philanthropist, Simon has funneled millions to his own Sam Simon Foundation as well as PETA and environmental groups. Diagnosed with terminal colon cancer, Simon spoke to Hollywood Reporter about his decision to leave his entire wealth, including the ongoing royalties for The Simpsons, to charity. “I want medical experiments on animals stopped. They don’t do anything, and they don’t work,” Simon said. A self-described “animal lover,” Simon’s foundation rescues dogs from kill shelters and trains them to be companions for the deaf.
The Sam Simon Foundation also operates a food bank serving vegan food. “Veganism is an answer for almost every problem facing the world in terms of hunger and climate change. It helps people’s health. Meat is the biggest greenhouse gas producer. There’s also the cruelty and suffering aspect. When people do meatless Mondays, and when people adopt instead of buying a dog, that’s a PETA victory,” he said. He has collaborated with PETA on buying circuses and zoos and freeing animals, noting that those animals are some of the most abused in the country.
Asked why his chosen cause is animal rights, Simon replied: “One of the things about animal rights […] is that your money can bring success. I see results. There is stuff happening, really good stuff, every week.” He plans on spending the remaining months of his life increasing the outreach of his work through his foundation.
Photo: Sam Simon Foundation