Sam Simon, who helped develop the long-running animated comedy The Simpsons, died Sunday in Los Angeles after a long battle with colorectal cancer at the age of 59.

Simon developed The Simpsons in 1989 along with Matt Groening and James L. Brooks and remained with the show until 1993.

"It is with much sadness that we must let you know that Sam Simon has passed over," the Sam Simon Foundation posted on its Facebook page Monday. "We all miss him, and in his honor, we will continue bringing his vision to light through our work at The Sam Simon Foundation. We take comfort in knowing how many greetings he is receiving across that Rainbow Bridge. We love you Sam!"

Simpsons producer Al Jean called Simon "a genius and a great humanitarian in ways public and private. I personally owe him more than can be repaid, but I will do my best to help every animal I can in his memory."

The Sam Simon Foundation is an organization that rescues dogs and provides medical help to pets in need. Simon told NBC News that he would be giving his fortune to various animal organizations.

"I think that my passion for the animals and against animal abuse is based on the knowledge that these creatures who feel and think can't speak for themselves," Simon said in an interview with Maria Shriver. "I feel it's my responsibility to speak for those who can't speak for themselves."