Published: Sun, August 20, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Comedic Legend Dick Gregory Has Passed Away At 84-Years-Old

Comedic Legend Dick Gregory Has Passed Away At 84-Years-Old

Dick Gregory, the black comedian who used humour to defuse racial tension, has died aged 84.

Christian Gregory took to Facebook on Thursday (August 17) to share the bad news with his father's fans, but assured them that he is making a speedy recovery.

The family shared the news of their "enormous sadness" in a post on social media on Saturday. He was among the first United States black comedian to perform regularly in front of white audiences.

Dick Gregory, the USA comedian and activist who inspired a generation of black stand-up performers, joined Martin Luther King Jr.in the struggle for civil rights and ran for president against Richard Nixon, has died, the Associated Press reported, citing his son. "More details will be released over the next few days".

"The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love, and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very hard time", Christian Gregory said.

Following the news of Gregory's passing, fellow civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson paid tribute to him.

"Dick Gregory was the greatest, and he was the first", Pryor said in a 2004 interview with the Independent newspaper.

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He stayed on at the Playboy Club for three weeks, which turned into three years and the attention got him a profile in Time magazine. This was the time when in 1961, Gregory was reserved for a separate night replacement in Playboy Club in downtown Chicago.

"People like glamor. That's what messes up America", he said.

Five years later, Gregory ran for President as a write-in candidate for the Freedom and Peace Party. He joined forces with people like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, marched in Selma and protested the Vietnam War.

Gregory was also a health and spiritual advocate and a motivational speaker.

"A life well-lived but heavily sacrificed, has definitively taken its toll", Christian Gregory wrote of his father's entrepreneurial and activist roles.

Survivors include his wife Lillian, a secretary whom he had met at a club in Chicago.

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