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.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17 pm 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.
Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.
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.”