Provocative comedian George Carlin died yesterday of heart failure in a Santa Monica hospital at the age of 71, Reuters reports. The counterculture hero, who long battled heart and drug problems, had been admitted earlier in the day complaining of chest pains. He was known for boundary-stretching, drug-referencing routines. One of his most famous schticks on seven "dirty words" led to a First Amendment battle in the US Supreme Court.
"There are three ingredients in my comedy," he once told the Los Angeles Times. “English language and wordplay, mundane, everyday observational comedy, and thirdly, sociopolitical attitude comedy.” He once quipped he looked forward to an afterlife where he could watch the demise of civilization on "heavenly CNN." He wrote three books, recorded 22 comedy albums and won four Grammy awards.