Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett and Ed McMahon, three icons of the entertainment business, died within hours of one another. Only Jackson’s death came as a shock to the world. He supposedly died of cardiac arrest, having been worked on by his private physician at his rented house near the hospital and by medical personnel in the emergency room, who pronounced him dead at 2:26 p.m.Michael Jacksonworked on him over an hour, pronouncing him dead at 2::26 p.m. He had taken a prescription medication, but the announcement also seemed to indicate that his personal physician was with him in his rented home at the time he collapsed from apparent cardiac arrest. That doctor also attempted to revive Jackson, unsuccessfully.

It’s hard to know what to say about the death of a pop icon who rose—and fell—so far. The talented little boy who sang with his brothers as “The Jackson Five” had disappeared many years ago, buried under numerous botched plastic surgeries and aberrant lifestyle eccentricities that had him inviting underage children into his bed, cavorting with a chimp named Bubbles, founding a veritable circus at Neverland Ranch, complete with a zoo and rides, buying the Elephant Man’s bones, and sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber. In the end, Michael Jackson, like all of us, proved to be mortal, no more immune to death’s reach than a Kennedy or a Beatle or a President.

May all three of these icons of our culture rest in peace.