Image: Jerry Lewis
Frederick M. Brown  /  Getty Images
Jerry Lewis speaks during 'The Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis' panel during the Encore portion of the 2011 Summer TCA Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, July 28, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
updated 8/4/2011 12:29:52 AM ET 2011-08-04T04:29:52

The Muscular Dystrophy Association says comedian Jerry Lewis is no longer serving as the organization's national chairman.

The 85-year-old Lewis has been the MDA's national chairman since the early 1950s.

He announced in May that he was retiring as host of the Labor Day Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon that has become synonymous with his name.

Lewis had said that he planned to make his final appearance on this year's Sept. 4 telethon.

But MDA Chairman of the Board R. Rodney Howell said in a statement Wednesday that Lewis "will not be appearing on the telethon."

The Tucson-based MDA says Lewis "has completed his run" as its national chairman and won't be replaced.

There was no immediate explanation for the moves, and calls to the non-profit agency weren't immediately returned Wednesday night.

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Video: Lewis quits telethon

  1. Transcript of: Lewis quits telethon

    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: And as long as there's been a Muscular Dystrophy Telethon it's been associated with Jerry Lewis , but no more. The 85-year-old comedian will not be a part of the show this year and is now longer the MDA national chairman, after raising over a billion dollars for the cause over the years. Lewis has been sharply critical of the TV industry of late, but is not commenting yet on his departure.

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