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TIME

Comedian Margaret Cho grew up in San Francisco, a city with such close ties to Robin Williams, who died Aug. 11 at age 63, that its own mayor released a statement about his death. Here, Cho remembers the late actor as a generous and supportive paternal figure in the San Francisco comedy community:

He was the first celebrity I ever met. My parents owned a bookstore in San Francisco in the ’70s and ’80s. My father made Robin autograph a copy of The World According to Garp for me. When I started comedy in San Francisco in the ’80s, Robin would hang around the clubs I started doing shows at and grew up next to. He would always come in, and then later, of course, we would always see him in clubs here. He was the patriarch of our little clan of comedians in San Francisco. All of us…

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