Jimmy Breslin, larger-than-life New York newspaperman, dies

Jimmy Breslin's doctor told CNN the columnist died because of complications from pneumonia.
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Jimmy Breslin, the prolific New York City and Pulitzer Prize winning columnist, died Sunday morning at age 88.

Breslin's death was reported by his longtime employer, the New York Daily News.

The newspaperman's physician, William Cole, told CNN that Breslin died at 8 a.m. because of complications from pneumonia.

"He was a force of nature," said Cole.

Initial reports, including the Daily News' own, reported Breslin's age as 86. "There's a funny story to go with that," Cole told CNN, saying he had a copy of Breslin's birth certificate.

"Apparently somewhere along the way he lied," Cole said, recalling a conversation with a former newspaper editor. "He wanted to be the youngest person at a certain paper. Usually it's the other way around."

Throughout his decades-long career, Breslin penned articles for the News, the New York Post, Newsday, the New York Herald Tribune, and New York Journal American, along with the Daily News.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1986 for columns "which consistently champion ordinary citizens."

Breslin also famously penned an article in November 1963 for the New York Herald Tribune about one of the men responsible for preparing President Kennedy's grave at Arlington National Cemetery.

During an interview with CNN in 2013, Breslin offered his thoughts on on his career.

"You can get some work, some jobs that will bore you until you're dead," he said. "So you better look for something that's got a little tingle to it."

--CNN's Evan Simko-Bednarski and Anne Woolsey contributed to this report.