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Joan Rivers dies at the age of 81...

Very sad news tonight.

The comedian and host of E! Show, Fashion Police, has died at the age of 81.

Melissa Rivers, the daughter of Joan, said in a statement earlier: 

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,"

"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."

Melissa added that she and her son, Cooper, who is Joan Rivers' grandson, "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."

On Aug. 28, Joan was in New York City having surgery when she suffered cardiac arrest. Doctors have kept her sedated since she arrived until Sept. 2 when Melissa revealed that she had been placed on life support.

More to follow.