Simpsons co-creator who rescued ‘gay’ bull dies aged 59

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The Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon, who paid to save a bull suspected of being gay from slaughter last year, has died aged 59.

Simon won seven Emmys as writer, director and executive producer of the Simpsons, which first aired in 1989.

It was confirmed on Monday by Simon’s agent that he had died.

After his diagnosis with colon cancer, Simon said he wanted to donate all of his fortune to charity. Some years he made $20 million (£13 million) from the Simpsons after striking a deal which meant, despite leaving the show, he would have a share in all ongoing earnings.

He advocated for animal rights, among  other causes, and in 2002 founded the Sam Simon Foundation which was devoted to rescuing dogs from shelters, and training them to help the disabled.

A farmer in Ireland said last year that he would send Benjy – who he had purchased as a breeding bull – to the slaughterhouse for showing more interest in other bulls than with cows.

A campaign to rescue him from the fate attracted some support online – though some were critical of spending money rehoming a bull instead of putting it towards human LGBT issues.

However, Simon – a renowned philanthropist who gave away “most” of his money after being diagnosed with the terminal illness – stumped up the full £5,000 cost of the fee to move Benjy to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norwich.

It was predicted that Benjy might not be so keen to arrive at his new home though – the first order of business was his castration.

Farmer John Watson said previously: “He’ll be castrated. I know they say Benjy’s gay, but we won’t be taking any chances.

“Any animals that come here are neutered because we want to rescue animals in need, not breed them and fill up the sanctuary.”