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The Simpsons co-creator and saviour of 'Benjy the bull' Sam Simon dies

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Hollywood producer Sam Simon with his dogs

Hollywood producer Sam Simon with his dogs

Hollywood producer Sam Simon with his dogs

The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon has died.

The 59-year-old, who was an dedicated animal campaigner, passed away Sunday evening at his LA home following a long, difficult battle with colon cancer.

Sam was diagnosed in 2012 and spoke publicly about his terminal illness.

As well as the hit US TV series The Simpsons, Sam hit global headlines in recent months for saving the life of a gay Irish bull called Benjy.

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Benjy the gay bull

Benjy the gay bull

Benjy the gay bull

Benjy, the non-performing Charolais, owned by a Co Mayo farmer, was destined for slaughter before Sam Simon pledged to pay th €6,250 (£5,000) needed to save the bull.

The bull had failed to impregnate any of the cows in the farmer’s herd and he showed more interest in the other bulls.

Sam's money enabled the bull to be moved to an animal sanctuary based in the UK.

Today, animal rights group ARAN said they were 'hurt and saddened' at the news of Sam Simon's death.

In a statement, John Carmody said; "The lives of many rescued and abused animals are alive and well thanks to Mr. Simon’s goodwill. “An Irish bull named Benjy, who became an international icon for animal and gay rights, was one of the most recent recipients of Sam’s generosity and compassion when he stepped in to save the life of the bull who was being sent to slaughter.

“We are sorry that the animals have lost a true living angel, who has done nothing but good during his time in this world — may he look down on all the animals he’s helped save and the ones that need saving, from where he is right now.

"We miss you, and we love you Sam.”

The Sam Simon Foundation told TMZ, "For those of us who knew him, his voice will forever echo in our minds; his sense of humor will continue to make us laugh; and his compassion and generosity will continue to impact our lives.

"Sam, you will be missed by many, but there is a particular sadness among our clinic staff.

"We have been together for so long, and your absence will forever leave a void in our lives."

Sam passed away surrounded by family, friends and his beloved dog.

Online Editors