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Famed Mexican Television Host Raul Velasco Dies at 73

Raul Velasco, the host of one of Mexico's most popular and longest-running TV variety programs, has died in Acapulco at the age of 73.

Mexico's Televisa network says Velasco died at home Sunday surrounded by his family, after an intense fight against various illnesses.

Earlier this month, Velasco was unable to attend a ceremony sponsored by an entertainers' union because of stomach problems. And in 1998, he underwent a liver transplant following a bout of hepatitis.

Velasco's claim to fame was "Siempre en Domingo", or "Always on Sunday," a show credited with launching the careers of some of Mexico's biggest singers. The program was broadcast from 1969 to 1998.

Televisa says Velasco's death closes a chapter in the history of Mexican television.