Paul Sills, 80, one of the founders of the Second City improvisational comedy group, which has turned out some of America's best-known comedians, has died.

Mr. Sills died Monday at his home in Baileys Harbor, Wis., of complications from pneumonia, said his daughter, Aretha Amelia Sills.

Mr. Sills helped found the comedy institution in 1959. It launched the careers of John Belushi, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Stephen Colbert and Mike Myers.

The group celebrates its 50th anniversary next year with stages in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Las Vegas and Canada. - AP