American stand-up comedian and actor, George Carlin, died of heart failure at a Los Angeles-area hospital in June 2008. He was aged 71.
Carlin had a history of heart problems spanning three decades. These included heart attacks in 1978, 1982, and 1991; an arrhythmia requiring an ablation procedure in 2003; a significant episode of heart failure in late 2005; and two angioplasties.
His death occurred one week after his last performance at The Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
In accordance with his wishes, his body was cremated and his ashes were scattered in front of various nightclubs he had played in New York City and over Spofford Lake in New Hampshire, where he had fond memories of attending summer camp as an adolescent.
Regarded as one of the most important and influential stand-up comics of all time, Carlin was dubbed “the dean of counterculture comedians”.
He was known for his dark comedy and reflections on politics, the English language, psychology, religion, and taboo subjects.
His “seven dirty words” routine was central to the 1978 United States Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a 5–4 decision affirmed the government’s power to censor indecent material on the public airwaves.