Sam Simon was a television prodigy. He was just 25 when he became the showrunner for one of the greatest sitcoms in history, Taxi. (Imagine a 25-year-old running a show featuring Taxi stars Christopher Lloyd, Tony Danza, Judd Hirsch, Danny DeVito, Marilu Henner and Andy Kaufman.) Simon got the job through pure talent--by submitting a spec script. With a background in cartooning and a degree from Stanford, Simon developed The Simpsons in 1989 with James L. Brooks and Matt Groening. He didn't last there--creative differences--but he still gets royalties from The Simpsons. "Tens of millions," as he told NBC's Maria Shriver.
Diagnosed with colon cancer, the 59-year-old Simon has been busy for two years giving away his fortune--all of it...Simon has outlived his initial prognosis. So as it turns out Bart Simpson is an accidental philanthropist. Because every time Bart Simpson made you laugh, Sam Simon got a dollar. And now he's giving those hundreds of millions of dollars away to charity.
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