Article Lead Image

‘Simpsons’ co-creator Sam Simon passes away at age 59

Philanthropist and 'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon passes away after cancer battle.


Audra Schroeder


Posted on Mar 9, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 8:39 am CDT

It was announced today that Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon passed away after a long battle with cancer. He was 59. 

His passing was announced on Facebook this morning via the Sam Simon Foundation, which pairs veterans and people with hearing impairments with service dogs. Simon was a vocal animal rights activist and philanthropist, and that passion, as well as his battle with cancer, is the subject of a yet-to-be-released documentary

[Placeholder for embed.]

Simon created The Simpsons in 1989 with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks, and helped it shape the show’s characters and look. He exited the show in 1993, but his influence on comedy and TV in the last decade-plus is undeniable. Merrill Markoe’s fantastic 2014 Vanity Fair piece on Simon is required reading: He describes coming up with the look of iconic characters like Mr. Burns and Chief Wiggum. He also spoke about his cancer battle on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast in 2013. 

Groening and Brooks both offered statements; Groening remarked Simon is “gone from our industry too soon.” 

On Twitter, friends and colleagues expressed their grief and cataloged their remembrances. 

(Sorry, this embed was not found.)

No doubt we’ll see Simon somewhere in next week’s SimpsonsH/T The Wrap | Illustration by Jason Reed 

Share this article
*First Published: Mar 9, 2015, 6:50 pm CDT