Remembering the Late/Great, Sam Simon
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Remembering the Late/Great, Sam Simon
By "Big Dog" Benny Henderson Jr., Doghouse Boxing (March 10, 2015)

Sam Simon and Lamon Brewster
R.I.P. Sam Simon
Sam Simon, co-creator of the famed long running animated sitcom The Simpsons, who was suffering from colorectal cancer, passed away this past Sunday night at the age of 59.

Simon, a nine-time Emmy winner, who worked on such shows as, Taxi, Cheers, The Drew Carey Show, the before mentioned, The Simpsons, was also an active philanthropist, he was an honorary director of PETA, and was head of the Sam Simon Foundation (, which rescued dogs.

Aside from writing, producing, creating, animals, and poker, Sam Simon was a boxing fan. And that was how I met Sam Simon.

Sam was manager of Lamon Brewster who earned the WBO heavyweight title in 2004 when Brewster defeated Wladimir Klitschko. I remember flying to Vegas for Brewster's first title defense against Kali Meehan. After the bout at the after party, I got to hang out with Team Brewster, which of course included Sam Simon.

I had the opportunity to interview Sam back in 2005. We spoke about many things, I remember asking about The Simpsons and he explained to me, "I actually think my belief that it was not going to be successful, because I used to tell my writers and the directors on the show to have fun because we are only going to make thirteen." Who would have thought?

Sam explained to me that the character Drederick Tatum, who Hank Azaria voiced over for, was supposed to be Marvin Hagler, but went in another direction. "Azaria always picks the funniest voice, on the script it shows Boxer's voice) and Hank went with Mike Tyson."

I remember receiving an email from Simonâs assistant asking me to call Sam. Sam wanted me to write a bio for Lamon Brewster going into this title defense against Andrew Golota in May of 2005. I did so, and in return Sam flew me to Chicago to be a part of Team Brewster. It was a time I will never forget, and memories Iâll cherish.

The night before the fight I got to hang out with Sam and the crew. Sam took me under his wing and although I was basically a nobody sitting at the dinner table with all these high end members of boxing, he and trainer Jessie Reid made me feel welcome. After Brewster destroyed Golota in the opening round, after the post conference, off to a small pizza place we went. Sam introduced me as the next up and coming writer to look out for. Sam drew a picture of Bart Simpson and autographed it for my son, which he still has in his room. The look on his face when I told him I let my young son watch the program was priceless.

After that, I never met Sam in person again. A few years back I got a few quotes for an article remembering 911. We kept in touch from time to time, spoke boxing and such. He really knew the sport. It has been six months since I spoke with Sam, one day he sounded exhausted, the last time he was upbeat, we talked a bit of boxing and I told him I was praying for him. We hung up, and that was it. No more conversations for us two.

Drederick Tatum
When I received the news today, I was not surprised, I knew it was coming, I was heartbroken. Sam was one heck of a man. He has a heart of gold. I spoke with Lamon, but out of respect, I did not get quotes from him, he seemed devastated.

I was not close to Sam, I am not going to act like I was, but, what little time we spent together, and the handful or more of conversations we had, I was awed. And now I am thankful for his contributions, not just in the movie business, but, in life. He showed me to stand up for what you believe in. His was animal rights, and he fought a hard fight to save as many as he could. I am thankful for the short time we spent together. He will be forever missed. R.I.P. Sam. You fought the good fight.

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