Dick Gregory Dies at 84
Sad news. Comedian and activist Dick Gregory (real name Richard Claxton Gregory) has died at the age of 84. He passed late Saturday (August 19th) in Washington, D.C. after being hospitalized for about a week, his son Christian Gregory confirmed. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection. Christian stated,
Years of severe fasting, not for health but for social change, had damaged his vasculature system long ago. He always reminded us, many of his fasts were not about his personal health but an attempt to heal the world.
Gregory was a civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, comedian, conspiracy theorist, and occasional actor. During the turbulent 1960s, Gregory became a pioneer in stand-up comedy for his “no-holds-barred” sets, in which he mocked bigotry and racism. He primarily performed at segregated clubs to black audiences until 1961, when he became the first black comedian to successfully cross over to white audiences, appearing on television and putting out comedy record albums.
Gregory was at the forefront of political activism in the 1960s, protesting the Vietnam War and racial injustice. He was arrested multiple times and went on a hunger strike. He later became a motivational speaker and author, primarily promoting spirituality.