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Joan Rivers dies at 81 following minor throat surgery

Joan Rivers dies at 81
Joan Rivers dies at 81
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

According to MSN on Thursday, Joan Rivers has died. The 81-year-old was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York in critical condition when she went into cardiac and respiratory arrest on Aug. 28. The well-known comedienne was having minor throat surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy when she stopped breathing. She was put into a medically induced coma and two days later she was put on life support. Her daughter, Melissa and 13-year-old grandson, Cooper, were by her side the entire time.

CNN reports that Rivers passed away peacefully at 1:17 p.m. today surrounded by family and close friends. A funeral is scheduled for Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan, according to spokeswoman Elizabeth Fezrine. As of now, details are not known concerning the time of the funeral and if it will be private or if the public will be allowed to attend.

Since the procedure was supposed to have been a safe and minor one, the outpatient clinic is now being investigated by the New York State Department of Health. The exact cause and manner of Rivers' death will be announced after the investigation is completed.

During the illness of Rivers, her daughter thanked the doctors, nurses and staff of the hospital for the great care they provided. Melissa also thanked the public for the outpouring of love and support during the last week. She made an emotional statement by saying, "My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."

Rivers had devoted her entire life to comedy, and had worked with many other celebrities. Former CNN host Larry King said he has known Rivers for 45 years and everything was funny to her. Tributes have been received from others celebrities such as Donald Trump, Ryan Seacrest, Liza Minnelli and from former first lady Nancy Reagan. Rivers will indeed be missed.