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'We Are Heartbroken:' Howard Stern Show Star Ralph Howard Dies At 77

Feb. 25 2019, Updated 11:50 a.m. ET

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Howard Stern's long time staffer, Ralph Howard, has passed away at the age of 77 after losing his battle to lung disease, and his wife says she's happy he's no longer suffering.

His wife, Julie Halston, announced the tragic news in a touching tribute on Facebook Tuesday afternoon.

"It is with the heaviest of hearts that I share Ralph’s passing with you all," Halston wrote on her Facebook. "At 1:20 this morning he left us but of course will ALWAYS be with us."

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The funeral is set to take place at 3 pm on Sunday, August 12 at Riverside Chapel in New York City.

"We are heartbroken but happy that he is no longer struggling," a grieving Halston added.

Ralph had been suffering from the disease since 2008 when he was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. He was able to receive a life saving lung transplant in 2010 that kept him going on with his daily life up until his death.

For 17 years, he was known as the lead news anchor on "Howard 100 News" from 2005 until his retirement in 2013.

Stern took the time on his show Wednesday morning to remember the late anchor.

"We could not find the right voice for Howard 100 News because in order for the joke to work we had to have a real credible news voice,” Stern recalled. “And when Ralph Howard walked in, we knew right away we had our man.”

"Ralph Howard was a great guy. It’s a sad day,” Stern added.

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