Comedy legend Jerry Lewis is dead at the age of 91. Lewis died at 9:15 a.m. at his home in Las Vegas, the Lewis’ family said in a statement. The one-of-a-kind comedian, actor, and philanthropist was known for his unique brand of humor and his zaniness. He was also known for hosting his Labor Day telethon for decades, which raised nearly $2.5 billion from 1955 until he was ousted from hosting before the 2011 telecast. Lewis was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 1977 for all of his outstanding charity work. In 1984, Lewis received the French Legion of Honor, and in 2009 he was honored with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
The funnyman starred in “The Bellboy” and “The Nutty Professor,” and teamed up with Dean Martin in the 1950s to become one of the most successful comedy duos in the history of show business. The tag team were the top draw at theaters, nightclubs, and radio the peak of their popularity from 1950-1956.
Jerry Lewis was born on March 16, 1926, in Newark, New Jersey. He came from a family of entertainers, which included his father as a vaudeville performer and his mother was a piano player. He began appearing on stage with his parents at a young age.
Over the years, Lewis battled ailments such as open-heart surgery in 1983, surgery for prostate cancer in 1992, treatment for his dependence on prescription drugs in 2003, a heart attack in 2006, and a long bout with pulmonary fibrosis. An inspiration to all, may Jerry Lewis rest in peace.