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TV creator Simon awarded $500,000 ‘genius’ grant

Executives at The MacArthur Foundation announced 23 recipients of their “genius” grant on Tuesday morning (28Sep10), among them a quantum astrophysicist, a marine biologist, a computer security scientist and a high school physics teacher.

Simon was praised for exploring “with the nuance and scope of novels (the) constraints that poverty, corruption, and broken social systems place on the lives of a compelling cast of characters, each vividly realised with complicated motives, frailties, and strengths”.

The TV creator and his fellow recipients will receive $500,000 each to support their projects over the next five years, allowing them “to reflect, create, and explore”.

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Simon admits he’s yet to make plans to spend the cash, although he is keen to increase his charitable efforts.

He tells the Los Angeles Times, “I’m obviously in an industry that pays well, and I’m on contract with (U.S. TV network) HBO, so the money is not the most meaningful part of the fellowship… I might want to pursue something that has minimal commercial value, and funding in that case might be more relevant. But my first inclination is to do something charitable.”

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