Sam Simon, who died Sunday of colorectal cancer, will not just be remembered for his work on “The Simpsons,” “Taxi” and other memorable TV shows. He was also an active philanthropist, including creating the dog-focused nonprofit the Sam Simon Foundation and serving as honorary director of PETA.
Here, Variety has gathered tributes that have highlighted both his personal and professional endeavors.
“The Simpsons” creator-executive producer Matt Groening:
“We will miss Sam’s phenomenal talents, sharp intelligence, and sly sense of humor. He is gone from our industry too soon.”
“The Simpsons” executive producer James L. Brooks:
“He was truly one of the great ones. He found so much outside the work to give him pleasure and left so much behind for others.”
“The Simpsons” executive producer-showrunner Al Jean:
“He was a genius and a great humanitarian in ways public and private. I personally owe him more than can be repaid, but I will do my best to help every animal I can in his memory.”
Fox TV Group:
“Sam helped establish the tone and world of the Simpsons in the early years of this landmark series, and his contributions live on. His philanthropy was well-known and a source of inspiration for many. We are deeply saddened by his passing.”
PETA president Ingrid Newkirk:
“I think Sam died with a smile on his face, knowing that elephants were on their way out of the circus, something that, together with the closure of SeaWorld, he dreamt of and talked about all the time. He said the last two years of his life, since his diagnosis, were his happiest, as he used them to help animals who had nothing, and it gave him great joy to see chimpanzees, elephants, and even a ‘gay’ bull find freedom from harm because he had worked with PETA to get them all out of hideous circumstances. One day, people will realize that Sam knew what PETA says is right: ‘Animals are not ours to eat, wear, experiment on, use for entertainment, or abuse in any other way.’ I hope everyone who knew Sam or hears about his great kindness to veterans, to animals, and to all will do something kind themselves in his honor. It’s a very sad day for us at the Sam Simon Center, PETA’s Norfolk, Virginia, headquarters.”
Thank you Sam Simon.
— Taran Killam (@TaranKillam) March 9, 2015