The Clark County Nevada Coroner determined that he died as a result of ischemic cardiomyopathy, which happens when the heart is unable to pump sufficient blood through the rest of the body due to coronary artery disease, according to the New York Daily News.
Lewis, who died at his Vegas home surrounded by his family at 9:15 a.m. on Sunday, August 20, had a history of heart issues dating back to 1960, when he suffered his first heart attack at the age of 34.
He also battled prostate cancer, diabetes, pulmonary fibrosis and viral meningitis and kicked a prescription drug addiction after a pratfall during a Las Vegas show in 1965 almost paralyzed him. An autopsy will not be conducted on the comedian.
The actor, singer, director and philanthropist, who began his career in the 1940s, when he teamed with Dean Martin at the age of 20, is being remembered for his perfect comedic timing as well as his big heart, which saw him raise more than $2.6 billion for muscular dystrophy research with his annual Labor Day weekend telethons.
“Sadly I can confirm that today the world lost one of the most significant human beings of the 20th century,” his rep Mark Rozzano said in a statement to ABC News.
“Jerry was a pioneer in comedy and film. And he was a friend,” the Oscar winner said in a statement on Sunday. “I was fortunate to have seen him a few times over the past couple of years. Even at 91, he didn’t miss a beat… Or a punchline. You’ll be missed.”
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