06/03/2011 at 08:00 AM EDT
Dr. Jack Kevorkian, nicknamed "Dr. Death" for his controversial advocacy of assisted suicide in the cases of the terminally ill, died early Friday morning, reports his local paper, the Detroit Free Press
He was 83, suffered kidney and heart ailments and was not placed on life support, his attorney, Mayer Morganroth, told the paper.
Last year, Al Pacino won an Emmy for his portrayal of Kevorkian in HBO's You Don't Know Jack
In all, the trained pathologist assisted some 130 terminally or chronically ill patients in their deaths during the 1990s. In 1999, he was convicted of second-degree murder after sending a videotape of himself euthanizing a terminally ill man to CBS's 60 Minutes
. His medical license was also revoked.
At Kevorkian's side in Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Mich., at the time of his own death was his niece, Ava Janus, and Morganroth, who told the Free Press
: "It was peaceful, he didn't feel a thing."