George Denis Patrick Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) was an American stand-up comedian, actor and author who won four Grammy Awards for his comedy albums.
Carlin was noted for his political insights, his black humor and his observations on language, psychology, religion and on many taboo subjects. Carlin and his "Seven Dirty Words" comedy routine were central to the 1978 U.S. Supreme Court case F.C.C. v. Pacifica Foundation, in which a narrow 5–4 decision by the justices affirmed the government's right to regulate indecent material on the public airwaves.
In the 1990s and 2000s, Carlin's stand-up routines focused on the flaws in modern-day America. He often took on contemporary political issues in the United States and satirized the excesses of American culture.
He placed second on the Comedy Central cable television network list of the 10 greatest stand-up comedians, ahead of Lenny Bruce and behind Richard Pryor.
George Carlin was born in New York City, the son of Mary (née Bearey), a secretary, and Patrick Carlin, a national advertising manager for the New York Sun. Carlin was of Irish descent and was raised in the Roman Catholic faith.
Carlin grew up on West 121st Street, in a neighborhood of Manhattan which he later said, in a stand-up routine, he and his friends called "White Harlem", because that sounded a lot tougher than its real name of Morningside Heights. He was raised by his mother, who left his father when Carlin was two years old. After 3 semesters, at the age of 14, Carlin involuntarily left Cardinal Hayes High School and briefly attended Bishop Dubois High School in Harlem
On June 22, 2008, Carlin was admitted to St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California after complaining of chest pain. He died later that day at 5:55 p.m. PDT of heart failure at the age of 71. Two of the networks he had an influence ..d their schedule in tribute to Carlin. HBO devoted several hours to broadcast eleven of Carlin's HBO specials on June 25 to June 28, 2008, including a twelve-hour marathon block on their HBO Comedy channel.