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Obama: Harold Ramis Was 'One of America's Greatest Satirists'

<p>President Barack Obama issued a statement Tuesday about the death of Harold Ramis, calling him "one of America's greatest satirists."</p>
Image: FILE: Actor Harold Ramis Dies At 69 Harold Ramis Attends Private Event
Harold Ramis.Jeff Schear / Getty Images Contributor
Harold Ramis.Jeff Schear / Getty Images Contributor

President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama issued a statement about filmmaker and comedian Harold Ramis' death Tuesday. The two were fans of the performer.

"Michelle and I were saddened to hear of the passing of Harold Ramis, one of America's greatest satirists, and like so many other comedic geniuses, a proud product of Chicago's Second City," the President said in the statement.

"When we watched his movies — from 'Animal House' and 'Caddyshack' to 'Ghostbusters' and 'Groundhog Day' — we didn't just laugh until it hurt. We questioned authority. We identified with the outsider. We rooted for the underdog. And through it all, we never lost our faith in happy endings.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Harold's wife, Erica, his children and grandchildren, and all those who loved him, who quote his work with abandon, and who hope that he received total consciousness."

That last part is a knowing nod to a Bill Murray scene in 1980's "Caddyshack," in which Murray's character, Carl Spackler, tells a story about golfing with the Dalai Lama.

Ramis died Monday of complications related to auto-immune inflammatory vasculitis, a condition he battled for four years. He was 69.