LOS ANGELES – Sam Simon, the acclaimed writer, director and producer who with James L. Brooks and Matt Groening developed the groundbreaking Fox TV series “The Simpsons,” has died. He was 59.
His death Monday was confirmed by his agent, Andy Patman. No other details were given.
The nine-time Emmy winner and philanthropist was diagnosed with colon cancer in late 2012, and in May 2013 confirmed during a “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast that he had been given three to six months to live. He added that he planned to donate the bulk of his fortune to charity, largely through his Malibu-based Sam Simon Foundation, which feeds vegan fare to hungry families and rescues stray and abused dogs.
Simon was instrumental in developing the wry sensibility that catapulted “The Simpsons” to ratings gold. With 530 episodes and counting, the show, which first aired in 1989, is currently the longest-running American sitcom in history. It’s beloved for its dark brand of satire, which tackles pop-culture absurdities and the complexities of modern life with razor-sharp wit.