Iconic comedian Joan Rivers died Thursday at the age of 81.
"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a written statement today. "She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother."
Rivers stopped breathing during a routine endoscopic throat procedure last week. She was immediately taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she remained until Wednesday when her family moved her to a private room.
“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa Rivers said in her statement. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”
Rivers was known for her fearless, take-no-prisoners style of comedy where she went after celebrities with reckless abandon in a way few dared to. While she initially gained prominence on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, this generation likely knows her best for her work as the star of E!’s Fashion Police.