Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81 after complications from throat surgery. Her daughter, Melissa, confirmed the news to PEOPLE today.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” daughter Melissa said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
“She passed peacefully at 1:17pm 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. Cooper and I 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.”