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August 1, 2015

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Jerry Lewis retiring from MDA telethon in September

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Mona Shield Payne/Special to the Sun

Jerry Lewis sheds tears during his closing song of the 45th Annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon on Sept. 6, 2010, at the South Point.

After 45 years, Jerry Lewis is retiring as host of the Muscular Dystrophy Association's Labor Day telethon.

The 85-year-old comedian and Las Vegas resident issued a statement Monday through the Tucson, Ariz.-based Muscular Dystrophy Association calling it time for a "new telethon era."

He says he'll make his final appearance on the six-hour primetime telethon Sept. 4 by performing his song "You'll Never Walk Alone."

Lewis says he'll continue as the association's national chairman, a role he's held since the early 1950s.

Lewis' first Labor Day weekend telethon in 1966 was broadcast by a single New York City television station and raised more than $1 million.

Last year's Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon raised almost $59 million to fund research to find a cure for muscular dystrophy and ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease.

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