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Joan Rivers Dies at Age 81, Melissa Rivers Confirms

Melissa Rivers confirms her mother Joan Rivers has died. In a statement released this afternoon, Melissa says:

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm 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."

PHOTOS: Joan Rivers' 16 Best Quotes

A week ago today, Joan went in for a minor endoscopic procedure when she stopped breathing shortly after it began. The comedian was rushed to the hospital and placed in a medically induced coma. Doctors began to slowly bring her out of the coma on Sunday and Melissa remained hopeful, Joan ultimately lost the battle.

Joan was always known for her acerbic wit, boundless energy and tenacious work ethic and was pioneer in the entertainment industry.

WATCH: Remembering Joan Rivers, 1933-2014

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