Richie Tienken, Eddie Murphy’s first manager and founder of the Comic Strip Live, died on Saturday at the age of 75. The cause of death was not announced, but Tienken had battled throat cancer according to Page Six. A nurturer of talent, the club he founded in 1976 became a launching pad for comedians like Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Murphy, who ended up being managed by Tienken for the first 11 years of his career. Tienken is even credited as a producer on Eddie Murphy: Raw and Beverly Hills Cop II. “We all thought he’d be here forever. He was a tower of strength and an icon in the world of comedy,” Jeffrey Gurian, author of the 2016 book Laughing Legends: How The Comic Strip Changed The Face of Comedy told Page Six. News of Tienken’s passing prompted online tributes from, among others, Adam Sandler, who tweeted “Thanks for everything Richie,” along with a still of the late club owner’s cameo in Beverly Hills Cop II. Tienken is survived by his wife wife Jeannie, his children Jonathan, Richie Jr., Jacqui, Dawn Marie and Christina, as well as five grandchildren and two great grand-children.