If you once were, or perhaps still are, a fan of the long-running animated comedy, The Simpsons, then you owe a great debt of gratitude to one of the show’s most influential men, Sam Simon.

It’s with great sadness that we’ve learned that Simon passed away Sunday at the age of 59, following a long battle with colorectal cancer.

As most Simpsons fans know, the show began as a series of short cartoons on The Tracey Ullman Show, for which Simon was a writer and executive producer. Soon after, the show became a series and took off after that into one of the best television shows of all time.

It’s sad to see anybody pass on from cancer, especially those who are at a relatively young age, as 59 certainly qualifies to be. But we are forever grateful for the legacy he left and for his contribution to a show that most of us grew up with, and with which we associate so many great memories, quotes, and sound bites.