The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon has passed away at the age of 59 following a battle with colon cancer, it was confirmed earlier today by The Sam Simon Charity.
Simon is the winner of seven Emmy awards for his work as a writer, director and executive producer for the animated sitcom. The Simpsons, which first aired in 1989, is the longest-running sitcom on American television.
While Simon left the show after four seasons, he continued to receive between $20 million to $30 million per year following a deal that allowed him a part of the popular show's future earnings. An avid philanthropist, Simon donated over $100 million to charities including PETA in support of animal rights.
Simon founded the not-for-profit Sam Simon Foundation in 2002, which rehabilitates rescue dogs from shelters and trains them to assist the disabled.
"It is with much sadness that we must let you know that Sam Simon has passed over," reads a statement from the foundation. "We all miss him, and in his honor, we will continue bringing his vision to light through our work at The Sam Simon Foundation. We take comfort in knowing how many greetings he is receiving across that Rainbow Bridge. We love you Sam!"