Jerry Lewis: Saving lives through MDA was honor

Jerry Lewis says his years of service to the Muscular Dystrophy Association helped make him a star.

Lewis said Saturday that he made his reputation in show business by saving lives. His remarks came during his acceptance speech at the Nevada Broadcasters Association dinner at Red Rock Resort, where he received a lifetime achievement award.

It was his first public appearance since he and the MDA parted ways earlier this month.

The 85-year-old says the recognition was as meaningful as ever, but he could not explain why.

Lewis hinted several times that he also could not explain why he is no longer the national chairman of the MDA after 45 years.

Lewis also will no longer host the group's annual Labor Day weekend telethon. MDA officials have not explained the separation.