Having the Will to Leave a Legacy

Our legacies will define us long after we are gone from this earth. If you knew you did not have much time left, what would you want your legacy to be?

The Simpsons star on Hollywood Walk of FameThe very first episode of The Simpsons aired on December 17th, 1989. It was my senior year in high school. Well over two decades later the show is still going strong, having made an icon and huge success story of its now famous cartoonist and writer, Matt Groening, as well as the series’ co-creator, Sam Simon.

Simon left The Simpsons in 1993, though he still has an executive producer title. Prior to The Simpsons, Simon was a writer, producer and director of Taxi, Cheers, The Tracey Ullman Show, and The Drew Carey Show. He had been working more recently as a consultant on Anger Management, the comedy starring Charlie Sheen.

Though The Simpsons have become a timeless sensation in those two decades, Simon knows that his own time is drawing to a close. Not long ago he was diagnosed with terminal colon cancer and told that he had just a few months left to live.

So he has chosen to donate the tens of millions of dollars he earns annually in royalties to charity.

How is that for leaving a legacy?

He already has several causes that mean a great deal to him, particularly: PETA, Save the Children, and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. He is also exceptionally dedicated to his own foundation, The Sam Simon Foundation, which provides: service dogs for veterans with PTSD, hearing dogs for those with hearing disabilities, trained dogs available for adoption in loving homes and dogs for visitation to the sick and elderly. The Sam Simon Foundation also provides nutritious meals to families that are experiencing economic hardships. Simon even used his millions started to buy roadside zoos and circuses so he could the animals, knowing that they are some of the most abused animals in the country.

Many, many kudos go out to Simon and his team for using the time he has left to help other people and animals and for setting them up for years to come. Long after he is gone, his legacy of giving will continue. Here’s to paying it forward.

What will your legacy be?

Now it’s time to link up. Happy Thoughtful Thursday!

Source: Us Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter


  1. Love your post, thank you for sharing!

  2. We used to talk about this concept of legacy with high school kids when I worked with them full time. It’s a great thought to have at all stages of life. I hope I can leave a legacy of giving, even if not to the level of Simon!

  3. That is an awesome legacy that he is leaving! How inspiring!

  4. What a fabulous legacy. There truly is no better one to leave than helping others like that. What a true measure of success!

  5. Wow, that kind of generosity at a time when he’d totally be forgiven for being selfish…. he’s something else!

  6. I have thought about this often. When I was really sick I thought about this daily. Just hoping I leave the place better than how I found it !

  7. Michelle says:

    I don’t think my legacy will reach world wide but I often think about how I will be remembered. I certainly know what I don’t want people to remember about me! Thank you for sharing, very inspiring!

  8. I think it is so important to take a step back and think of what is important and how you would be remembered if something were to happen tomorrow and further, are you happy with that image? What an inspiring post….

  9. Wow, way to go Simon! What a good question, I’ve really got some thinking to do…

  10. I knew that he was giving away a lot of his money, but didn’t know how much and to whom. That is philanthropy at its finest. He’ll be remembered for his giving nature. I hope that the way I live my day to day life is my legacy.

  11. How wonderfully inspiring! My brother, who has PTSD, has a service dog who has been an amazing help to him. It really is wonderful to hear about people who have been blessed with much in turn blessing others. And wonderful that, even in this trying time for him he has the heart to reach out to those in need.

  12. Leaving a legacy is so important because your work is here once you leave. It is great to see Simon do so many great things. Thank you for sharing with us, and reminding us all of the possibilities, and challenging us to do better!

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