An article from Don’s home town newspaper in Wilmington, North Carolina:
“Payne won four Emmy Awards and received six Writer’s Guild Award nominations for his work as writer/producer on “The Simpsons.” Payne was also the screenplay writer for “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “My Super Ex-Girlfriend” and “Thor,” and he wrote drafts for the movies “Thor: The Dark World” and “Maximum Ride,” which have yet to be released. Some of his “Simpsons” episodes have yet to air, including this year’s Christmas show.
In a statement, “Simpsons” executive producer Al Jean said, “Don was a wonderful writer and an even more wonderful man. He was beloved in the ‘Simpsons’ community and his untimely passing is terrible news to us all.”