RadarOnline.com has learned that Joseph Wapner died Sunday morning.
The People's Court judge was checked into the hospital last week after he began suffering breathing problems. The sick star left the facility shortly after to be taken to his Los Angeles home where nurses would care for him, but suddenly took a turn for the worse and died Feb. 26. He was 97.
Wapner, who launched the show in 1981, became a pioneer behind what reality TV would turn into in the coming decades.
The late star leaves behind his wife Mickey who he was married for 70 years, plus three kids.
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