Simpsons co-creator, animal advocate and PETA Honorary Director Sam Simon has passed away following a long and courageous battle with cancer.

“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,” said PETA president Ingrid Newkirk. "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."

“We are deeply saddened by the passing of our dear friend and funnyman Sam Simon,” said Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles. "As we mourn the loss of Sam, we also celebrate his life and legacy of giving to those who need it most. He gave a voice to children and endangered animals who can’t speak up for themselves. And he gave away his fortune so that they may have a chance at a better life.

“Sam once told me: ‘Giving—I get pleasure from it. I love it. I don’t feel like it’s an obligation. In fact, nothing is as gratifying as knowing that my giving has changed lives, especially the lives of children.’

“For nearly 30 years, Sam was a loyal advocate for children and traveled the world to see Save the Children’s work up close. In gratitude for his decades-long support, we created The Simon Society, a global philanthropic community that supports our agency’s work to improve the lives of children whenever and wherever the need is greatest.

“We will miss you, Sam. But your wit will keep us laughing and your compassion will continue to put smiles on the faces of children around the world—from the mountains of Appalachia to playgrounds in Mozambique to classrooms in Haiti.”

“This is truly a devastating loss, for me and for Sea Shepherd and for the thousands of people and animals whose lives have been touched by Sam Simon. He will be remembered as a great friend and as an unwavering defender of animals,” said Sea Shepherd Conservation Society Founder, Captain Paul Watson.

To read more about Sam Simon and his legacy, click here.

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