The Writers Guild of America West has named “The Simpsons” co-developer Sam Simon as its 2014 Valentine Davies Award honoree in recognition of his humanitarian efforts and community service on behalf of writers.
It’s the second WGA honor for Simon in recent weeks. He received the WGA West’s Animation Writers Caucus animation writing award earlier this month as a lifetime achievement honor recognizing his contributions to the craft of animation writing.
Simon will be honored for the Davies trophy at the WGA West’s West Coast awards ceremony on Feb. 1 at the JW Marriott Los Angeles.
“The work of Sam Simon’s life has entertained and humbled us, in equal measure,” said WGA West president Christopher Keyser. “And while this Guild has often honored his wit and skill, today we honor his generosity and love – his understanding that we are, in the end, all caretakers of each other. Sam has dedicated himself to the cause of at-risk animals and people who have no other protector. A friend to them, he has become an inspiration to us, his grateful colleagues.”
Simon is the founder of The Sam Simon Foundation, which has a mission to “save the lives of dogs to enrich the lives of people.” The Foundation’s Assistance Dog Program adopts at-risk dogs facing death in shelters and trains them as certified assistance dogs, which are placed as companions to aid the deaf and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.
In 2011, Simon also founded The Sam Simon Foundation: Feeding Families program, a mobile vegan food bank initiative which currently feeds 400 unemployed families each day.
He also continues to serve on the National Boards of international non-profit Save the Children and animal rights advocate PETA, which named its own Norfolk, Va., headquarters at The Sam Simon Center in February. In 2012, he donated his own ship – the Sam Simon – to Captain Paul Watson’s Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.
Simon developed “The Simpsons” with creator Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. He co-wrote nearly a dozen “Simpsons” episodes before departing in 1993 and has retained an executive producer credit for nearly 500 episodes over the series’ nearly 25-year run.
Past Valentine Davies recipients include Phil Alden Robinson, Norman Lear, Neal Baer, Larry Gelbart, Tom Schulman, Carl Reiner, Victoria Riskin, Seth Freeman, Susannah Grant, and Phil Rosenthal.