For years fans have been debating which of the many American Springfields gave the animator the idea for the town where his colourful characters live - and now he has revealed he based his fictional place on another fictional Springfield, based in Oregon.
Groening tells the Smithsonian Magazine, "Springfield was named after Springfield, Oregon. The only reason is that when I was a kid, the TV show Father Knows Best took place in the town of Springfield, and I was thrilled because I imagined that it was the town next to Portland, my hometown.
"When I grew up, I realised it was just a fictitious name. I also figured out that Springfield was one of the most common names for a city in the U.S. In anticipation of the success of the show, I thought, 'This will be cool; everyone will think it’s their Springfield.' And they do."