DETROIT - (AP) - Jack Kevorkian, the retired pathologist who captured the world's attention as he helped dozens of ailing people commit suicide, igniting intense debate and ending up in prison for murder, has died in a Detroit area hospital after a short illness. He was 83.

Kevorkian, who said he helped some 130 people end their livesfrom 1990 to 1999, died about 2:30 a.m. at William BeaumontHospital in Royal Oak, close friend and prominent attorney MayerMorganroth said. He had been hospitalized since last month withpneumonia and kidney problems.

An official cause of death had not been determined, butMorganroth said it likely will be pulmonary thrombosis.

"I had seen him earlier and he was conscious," saidMorganroth, who added that the two spoke about Kevorkian's pendingrelease from the hospital and planned start of rehabilitation."Then I left and he took a turn for the worst and I went back."

Nurses at the hospital played recordings of classical music bycomposer Johann Sebastian Bach for Kevorkian before he died,Morganroth said.

Kevorkian was freed in June 2007 after serving eight years of a10- to 25-year sentence for second-degree murder. His lawyers hadsaid he suffered from hepatitis C, diabetes and other problems, andhe had promised in affidavits that he would not assist in a suicideif he was released.