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Comedian Jerry Lewis Dies at the Age of 91

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Jerry Lewis died at the age of 91 at home in Las Vegas, the comedian’s talent agency confirmed on Sunday. Lewis was known for his roles in “The Nutty Professor” and “The Bellboy,” as well as hosting the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon.

Lewis launched and hosted the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s annual Labor Day telethon, raising more than $2.45 billion over his 45 years tenure.

The telethon was not without controversy. Lewis had repeatedly come under fire for inappropriate language used during the telethon. In the disability community, people protested the way the telethon portrayed those with muscular dystrophy and disabilities, saying Lewis’ performance infantilized people living with muscular dystrophy and promoted pity as well as the stigma those with disabilities face.

Lewis stepped down in 2011 and resigned from his post as the Association’s national chairman.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Metromedia

Originally published: August 20, 2017
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