- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 4, 2014

Comedian Joan Rivers died Thursday after going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure late last month. She was 81.

“She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m.surrounded by family and close friends,” her daughter, Melissa, said in a statement, Variety reported. “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.”

The “Fashion Police” host had been admitted to New York’s Mt. Sinai hospital after she stopped breathing during an otherwise routine procedure on her vocal cords at the Yorkville Endoscopy clinic. The clinic is since being investigated by state health officials.

As news of her death spread, celebrities took to Twitter to remember the famed comedian.

“Heaven just got a whole lot funnier. #RIPJoan,” wrote Bravo TV host Andy Cohen.

“[W]e lost a great one in @Joan_Rivers - she was funny all the way to the end,” wrote Jimmy Kimmel.

“A legend, a friend, a mentor, an icon, and wildly funny. One of a kind. RIP #JoanRivers,” wrote Kathy Griffin.

E! and parent company NBC Universal said in statement Thursday that they “send our deepest condolences to Melissa, Cooper and her entire extended family on this incredibly sad day.”

“For decades Joan has made people laugh, shattered glass ceilings and revolutionized comedy,” the statement said, Variety reported. “She was unapologetic and fiercely dedicated to entertaining all of us and has left an indelible mark on the people that worked with her and on her legions of fans. She’s been a much beloved member of the E! family for over 20 years and the world is less funny without her in it. Today our hearts are heavy knowing Joan will not be bounding through the doors.”

She is survived by her daughter and a grandson, Cooper. Her sister Barbara died in 2013 at 82.

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