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Joan Rivers dies at 81

Comedy legend Joan Rivers died on Thursday at age 81. Her daughter, Melissa, announced her mother’s passing in a heartfelt statement. “My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” she wrote. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”

Rivers was hospitalized last week after she stopped breathing during throat surgery. Melissa wrote that she died “surrounded by family and close friends.”

Read the statement in full below.

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