'Simpsons' co-creator Sam Simon dies at 59

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Sam Simon, Co-Creator of 'The Simpsons,' Dead at 59

"The Simpsons" co-creator Sam Simon died on Sunday after a long battle with colon cancer, his foundation announced on Facebook. He was 59.

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"It is with much sadness that we must let you know that Sam Simon has passed over," they wrote. "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!"

The writer/producer reportedly passed away at his Los Angeles home, surrounded by his family and his dog. As an animal rights advocate who worked closely with PETA and various other animal welfare organizations, Simon's dog was an important part of his life. He continued to fight for the rights of animals up until his last days, most recently expressing his disappointment in Britney Spears for swimming with dolphins at a Las Vegas hotel.

Originally given three to six months to live when he was diagnosed in 2012, he fought valiantly. In November, Simon opened up about his illness in an interview with Maria Shriver, where he managed to be candid while holding onto his sense of humor.

"Cancer is a horrible disease," he said. "It's a fight. It's a journey. It's tough. But, if you want publicity, and if you want to pick up girls, then cancer is the greatest thing in the world."

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His entire fortune -- valued at $100 million -- is expected to go to charity. Animal welfare and feeding the homeless were causes that were especially important to him. His Sam Simon Foundation's "Feeding Families" program alone feeds 400 families a day in Los Angeles.

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