Dying ‘Simpsons’ co-creator giving away fortune

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(CNN) — Getting news that you’ve been diagnosed with a terminal disease is something we all hope we never have to face. But, as some say, we can’t always choose our circumstances.

But we can always choose how we react, no matter how negative the news is.

Sam Simon, who made his fortune developing shows such as “The Simpsons” and “The George Carlin Show,” has decided to react to a terminal cancer diagnosis the way he always has to everything else: by giving.

When Simon was diagnosed with terminal colorectal cancer and given a few months to live, he announced in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter that he would donate his fortune to various charities. And how much is it worth? Simon confesses that’s he not sure, but an appropriate description would probably be “a lot.”

Simon has been an active philanthropist for most of his life. In 2002, he founded the Sam Simon Foundation, which focuses on rescue for stray dogs that would otherwise be euthanized. He also established and self-funded the Sam Simon Foundation Feeding Families program in 2011, which is a vegan food bank that helps feed people and animals in need. The Sam Simon Foundation had an estimated worth of $23 million in 2011.

In addition, Simon has donated large sums to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Save the Children and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Simon started out as a newspaper cartoonist at Stanford University and worked on several shows before creating “The Simpsons” alongside Matt Groening and James L. Brooks in 1989. He stayed with the show until 1993 and won nine Emmys for his work.

Simon is engaged to chef Jenna Stewart and does not have any children. When asked about his decision to donate his money, he said, “One thing is, I get pleasure from it. I love it. I don’t feel like it is an obligation. One of the things about animal rights — which is not the only thing that I care about in this world — is that your money can bring success. I see results.”