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Comedy legend Joan Rivers dead at 81

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Legendary comedian Joan Rivers has passed away at the age of 81, one week after a routine throat procedure left her on life support. Rivers passed away at New York's Mount Sinai hospital, where she had been rushed after she stopped breathing during the procedure at Yorkville Endoscopy. The clinic is currently being investigated by the New York State Health Department.

Rivers burst onto the national scene in 1965 with a guest appearance on "The Tonight Show" with Johnny Carson, eventually becoming Carson's permanent substitute. Rivers and Carson would eventually have a falling out following the launch of Rivers' own late night show, launched in 1986.

While her late night show would be short lived, Rivers always remained in the spotlight as her quick wit, willingness to say and critique anything, and refusal to apologize for who she was would endear her to fans across the globe. She was currently hosting "Fashion Police" on the E! network where she would team with a panel of hosts, excoriating the fashion choices of Hollywood's movers and shakers.

With a career that lasted over 6 decades, Rivers was a pioneer for female comics, using her acerbic wit to take on the elite and make others laugh. Rivers' blend of self-deprecating humor (Joan Rivers was Joan Rivers' favorite target), finger on the pulse of pop culture, and unwillingness to apologize for her comedy was something we don't see much of today.

Rivers is survived by her daughter, Melissa. Services are reported to be Sunday, August 7, 2014 at Temple Emanu-El in New York City.

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