Sam Simon, the nine-time Emmy winner who co-created The Simpsons, died Sunday of colorectal cancer in Los Angeles. He was 59.

Sam Simon Dies

Simon was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2012 and died of the disease in his home over the weekend, his reps confirmed to Variety. Al Jean, the Simpsons showrunner, also confirmed Simon’s death on Twitter

Simon is best remembered as a creator of The Simpsons in 1989 with the help of Matt Groening and James L. Brooks. Though Simon left the show in 1993, he had directed roughly a dozen episodes of the hit animated series, served as co-showrunner, character designer, creative consultant, creative supervisor, developer, and writer during his time with The Simpsons. After leaving, he retained an executive producer title.

“I’m here to tell you, the real creative force behind The Simpsons was Sam Simon,” Ken Levine, a writer on the series, has said of Simon’s contribution to the enduring series. “The tone, the storytelling, the level of humor – that was all developed on Sam’s watch.”

Prior to helping to create The Simpsons, Simon wrote and served as a story editor for Taxi and wrote and produced for Cheers. He was also the executive producer of The Tracy Ullman Show. After The Simpsons, Simon was a consulting producer and frequent director on The Drew Carey Show in 1998-2003. Simon’s last TV job was working as an executive consultant for Charlie Sheen comedy Anger Management.

Simon, who had interests in poker and boxing that he indulged with various pursuits, was also a devoted philanthropist. He funded the Sam Simon Foundation and supported PETA, Save the Children, and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

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