According to press accounts, Carson died peacefully at home with his family by his side. Carson reportedly suffered from emphysema and media reports have classified the illness as the most likely cause of death.
Carson was the King of Late Night for three decades as the host of "The Tonight Show" on NBC. He became a legend due to his quick wit, intuitive and charming interview style and his distinctive brand of humor.
He spent almost 50 years in television before retiring in 1992. Carson began his career in the formative years of the medium in the 1940s in his home state of Nebraska. He would eventually land the job of his career when he was asked to replace Jack Paar as host of "The Tonight Show" in 1962. During next three decades he would become the undisputed "King of Late Night" and set the standard for the late night talk format. For many the words "Johnny Carson" and "Carson Show" became the unofficial title of "The Tonight Show".
"Late Show" host David Letterman summed up Carson's impact with these words, "All of us who came after are pretenders. We will not see the likes of him again."