Matty Simmons co-founded National Lampoon magazine and produced several films starring Chevy Chase, Bill Murray and Jim Belushi among others

By Alexia Fernández
May 01, 2020 06:34 PM
Matty Simmons

Matty Simmons, the co-founder of National Lampoon magazine and producer of Animal House has died. He was 93.

The movie producer's daughter, Kate Simmons, announced the news on Instagram Thursday sharing a photo of her father sitting on a chair while smiling at the camera.

"Yesterday I lost my hero. My dad had gone from the sharpest, healthiest 93 year old most people have encountered to abruptly having every imaginable issue except corona," Kate wrote in the caption. "What he did in a lifetime was legendary. A founder of the National Lampoon and the Diners Club Card. Producer of Animal House and the Vacation series."

She continued, "He wrote like nine books and could finish a novel faster than I’ll probably finish this post. When we lost my mom a couple years ago it felt like a part of us both died. He told me early on, we’re a team now and we have to stick together. We did just that and became inseparably close. He became my best friend in the world."

"I truly don’t know how I’m going to be without him. He always told me “you’re Kate Bradley Simmons and you can do anything” so I’ll follow his words and try my best," Kate added. "It’s really wild. My mom left this world during a horrific stage four hurricane and now my dad during a world pandemic. What a profound testament to what powerful people they were. Alas, they can finally be together again."

Simmons was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was the Executive Vice President of the Diner’s Club, the first credit card company created.

Matty Simmons
Matty Simmons
| Credit: Ryan Miller/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

He founded Twenty-First Century Communications in 1967, a publishing company that published Weight Watchers and National Lampoon magazines.

With the launch of National Lampoon in 1970, films quickly followed such as the 1978 film Animal House, which starred Jim Belushi, Tom Hulce, Stephen Furst, Tim Matheson and Peter Riegert.

Simmons also produced National Lampoon’s Vacation film franchise, the first film which starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Anthony Michael Hall and Randy Quaid.

The mogul was also a book author, having written Fat, Drunk and Stupid: The Making of Animal House and The Credit Card Catastrophe.