The co-creator of “The Simpsons” has no problem poking fun at his terminal cancer diagnosis. But when it comes to giving away every last cent of his fortune, that’s no laughing matter.
Two years ago, Sam Simon -- also the comedic genius behind “Taxi” -- was diagnosed with stage-4 colon cancer and given three to six months to live. Today, Simon, 59, continues to defy that original prognosis, but is wasting no time in preparing to donate his entire $100 million fortune to charity, he told Maria Shriver in a recent NBC News interview.
"In the hospital, right after [colon surgery], I realized I had to start making plans," Simon told TMZ last year.
The award-winning producer and director has pledged his millions to PETA, Save the Children and his eponymous foundation, which feeds more than 400 hungry families a day in Los Angeles, he told Shriver.
The generous mogul has two ex-wives, no heirs, and his loved ones are financially stable, according to Inside Philanthropy.
Simon said that this philanthropic process has been a form of "therapy" for him. Some of his greatest moments these days are watching animals that had been caged up their entire lives “take their first steps on grass.”
The vehement animal rights activist is just as passionate about his work with children.
For nearly three decades, Simon has supported Save the Children’s work and has visited underserved kids across the globe to experience their strife firsthand.
Simon has met former child soldiers in Nepal, coffee farmers in Guatemala working to produce healthier foods for their families and young earthquake victims in Haiti.
In June, the organization named a global philanthropic community after the longtime benefactor.
“You know there are some shocking things,” Simon said in a statement. “But I remember kids playing with soccer balls made out of wire and newspaper -- and for me to see happiness in the absence of anything that we would consider satisfying, from a material standpoint, was very inspirational, and is something that stays with you.”