Jun 23, 2008 02:00 PM EST

George Carlin Passes Away

George Carlin Passes Away
George Carlin, comedian and social commentator, died yesterday at the age of 71 from heart failure.  Carlin had suffered for years with heart problems, and entered into rest at 6:00 p.m. at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica. He was born in the Bronx on May 12, 1937 and grew up in New York.

Carlin began his career touring colleges and being known for his smart, political humor as well as his love for using "dirty" words.  He performed his first HBO special in 1977, and performed numerous other specials for the channel through the years.  He released a box set of his HBO performances called "George Carlin: All My Stuff" last year.

Carlin was quoted as saying that the turning point in is career was in 1992, while performing the HBO special, "Jamming in New York."  "That was the point where I probably became more of a writer who performed his own material. The material became more like essays, they became more socially conscious, and it was just a major jump from being what I think of as only an entertainer to being an artist-entertainer," he said in a 2007 interview.

Carlin was slated to receive the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in November, but instead the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts will be holding a tribute to him on November 10. It will be aired at a later date. 

George is survived by his wife Sally Wade; daughter Kelly Carlin McCall; son-in-law Bob McCall; older brother Patrick Carlin; sister-in-law Marlene Carlin and longtime manager, business partner and best friend Jerold Hamza. His first wife, Brenda, died in 1997.
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