George Carlin: 1937 – 2008


Comedian George Carlin, famed for his routines about drugs and dirty words, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital Sunday, a spokesman said. He was 71.

Carlin, who had a history of heart and drug-dependency problems, died at Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica about 6 p.m. PDT (9 p.m. EDT) after being admitted earlier in the afternoon for chest pains, spokesman Jeff Abraham told Reuters.

Known for his edgy, provocative material, Carlin achieved status as an anti-Establishment icon in the 1970s with stand-up bits full of drug references and a routine called “Seven Words You Can Never Say On Television.”

Carlin’s comedic sensibility often came back to a central theme: humanity is doomed.

Carlin, who wrote several books and performed in many television comedy specials, is survived by his wife Sally Wade, and daughter Kelly Carlin McCall.