Legendary Icon and world-renowned humanitarian Jerry Lewis continues to personify the fight against neuromuscular diseases. As National Chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MD) since 1951, he is a strong leader who battles with fierce determination on behalf of millions of Americans affected by these disorders.

To his millions of fans, he is not only an admired actor, comedian, director, producer and teacher, but a humanitarian striving to provide "his kids" a better future.

The annual entertainment spectacular raises millions of dollars for MDA’s research, services and education programs. In 2009 and during an unprecedented recession, the telethon raised over $60 million dollars in pledges and donations.

The first broadcast of the MDA telethon was over Labor Day weekend in 1966 by a lone television station in New York City. The unique event starring popular funnyman Jerry Lewis quickly caught the public’s attention and raised more than $1 million in pledges. Now more than 44 years later, the show will be broadcast by MDA’s Love Network stations, assisted by some 250,000 volunteers across the country. Some 20 million people will see the show.

The Telethon derives drama from the ever increasing fundraising total posted on the “tote” board originally operated by hand in 1966 but now done electronically. Jerry’s goal of raising just ‘one more dollar’ than the previous year has been met almost every year.

Preparations for each Telethon begin an hour or so after the last one has ended. Jerry spends a good part of the year helping to plan the next Telethon including working closely and intensively with MDA’s national sponsors.

To-date, Jerry is the most successful fundraiser in history.

In December 1996, Jerry and MDA were recognized by the American Medical Association with Lifetime Achievement Awards "for significant and lasting contributions to the health and welfare of humanity." Jerry, only the fifth person in AMA history to receive this award, was honored for his nearly half a century of dedication to MDA. As National Chairman of MDA, Jerry has devoted two-thirds of his lifetime to the effort to eradicate neuromuscular disease.

Jerry is one of the most successful performers in show business. Box Office gross receipts of his films total approximately $800 million. Jerry has received worldwide acclaim for his unique ability and style with both comedy and drama.

Best known for his comedic genius, he is considered among the elite in the history of comedy. He has an exceptional sense for comic timing and possesses all the other unique qualities of a great clown.

Jerry’s show business partnership with crooner Dean Martin began in 1946. For 10 years Martin and Lewis sandwiched 16 money-making films between nightclub engagements, personal appearances and television bookings. Their last film together was Hollywood or Bust in 1956. On July 25th of that year, they made their last nightclub appearance together at the Copacabana, exactly 10 years to the day from when they began as a team.

Jerry’s illustrious career has garnered tremendous accolades not only as an actor, but director, author, humanitarian and successful inventor of the patented video assist, a closed circuit television system to facilitate motion picture and television production.

In France Jerry holds the prestigious title of Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters of the Legion of Honor.

In 2009, Jerry received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Oscar Award for his humanitarian efforts that have brought tremendous credits to the Motion Picture industry.

The 2010 MDA Telethon will be broadcast live from Michael Gaughan’s South Point Hotel Casino in Las Vegas beginning Sunday, September 5th at 9PM – EST/ 6PM PST and concluding on Monday, September 6th at 9PM – EST/6PM PST.