Sam Simon, who wrote, produced, and created some of the most-loved television series in history, passed away at the age of 59. While Simon will undoubtedly be remembered for his work on Taxi, Cheers, and The Simpsons, his generosity—which was unique in its sheer totality—has made and will continue to make a lasting impression, as well.
Around three years ago, Simon was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The prognosis was dire, and doctors believed he only had six months to live. Faced with this stark news, he decided to dedicate his remaining days to giving away every last penny of his fortune, estimated to be worth around $100 million.
He outlived that original prediction by a few years, and he filled that time with charity work.
"The truth is, I have more money than I'm interested in spending," he told the Hollywood Reporter in 2013. "Everyone in my family is taken care of. And I enjoy this."
Some of the organizations that Simon gave hefty donations to were PETA, Save the Children, the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and the eponymous Sam Simon Foundation, which feeds both homeless people and rescue dogs.
"I get pleasure from it. I love it," he said. "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."