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Comedian And Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory Dies At 84

Dick Gregory, famous for his pointy explanation on competition family during a 1960s polite rights movement, was deliberate a colonize in regulating joke to residence amicable issues.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images


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Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Dick Gregory, famous for his pointy explanation on competition family during a 1960s polite rights movement, was deliberate a colonize in regulating joke to residence amicable issues.

Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

Dick Gregory, a comedian and polite rights crusader, died Saturday. He was 84.

His family announced a news on his open Facebook page.

“It is with huge unhappiness that a Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic fable and polite rights romantic Mr. Dick Gregory over this earth tonight in Washington, DC,” his son Christian Gregory pronounced in a post. “The family appreciates a escape of support and adore and respectfully asks for their remoteness as they suffer during this really formidable time. More sum will be expelled over a subsequent few days.”

According to The Associated Press, Gregory, who was recently in and out of a hospital, died following a critical bacterial infection. NPR has not exclusively reliable a means of death.

Gregory gained courtesy as a comedian in a early 1960s, and was a initial black comedian to widely win plaudits from white audiences. Darryl Littleton, author of a book Black Comedians on Black Comedy, told NPR in 2009 that Gregory pennyless barriers with his appearances on television, only by sitting down:

“Dick Gregory is a initial to famous — and he’ll contend it — a initial black comedian to be means to mount flat-footed, and only delivered comedy. You had other comedians behind afterwards though they always had to do a small strain or a dance or whatever, Sammy Davis had to dance and sing, and afterwards tell jokes. Same with Pearl Bailey and some of a other comedians. But Dick Gregory was means to grow on television, lay down on a Jack Paar uncover — and lay on a cot and indeed have a discussion, and that it never happened in a story of television.”

Gregory “opened a door” for Bill Cosby to arise to fame, Littleton said.

He was remarkable for his domestic and amicable activism, commencement in a polite rights transformation in a 1960s. He attended a ancestral 1963 Mar on Washington. Forty years later, Gregory told Tavis Smiley on NPR about his knowledge during a march, describing it as “joy. It was festivity, and as distant as a tellurian eye could see.”

Gregory talked in 2003 about his knowledge perplexing to confederate a grill in Mississippi before a march, display he could inject some amusement into a critical story:

“We attempted to confederate a restaurant, and they said, `We don’t offer colored folk here,’ and we said, `Well, we don’t eat colored folk nowhere. Bring me some pig chops.’ And afterwards Ku Klux Klan come in, and a lady say, `We don’t have no pig chops,’ so we say, `Well, move me a whole boiled chicken.’ And afterwards a Klan walked adult to me when they put that whole boiled duck in front of me, and they say, `Whatever we do to that chicken, boy, we’re going to do to you.’ So we non-stop adult a legs and kissed it in a posterior and tell we all, `Be my guest.’ “

He was approach in his denunciation about race. He co-wrote with Robert Lipsyte a book nigger: An Autobiography — a “n” is lowercase — in 1964. Gregory explained to NPR since he chose that title:

“So this word ‘nigger’ was one of a many well-used difference in America, quite among black folks. And we said, `Well, let’s lift it out a closet. Let’s lay it out here. Let’s understanding with it. Let’s disintegrate it.’ Now a problem we have currently is people call it a N-word. It should never be called a N-word. You see, how do we speak about a swastika by regulating another term?”

Gregory called a U.S. “the number-one many extremist complement on a planet. … And we wish that America is peaceful to take this shoe of injustice off and understanding with injustice and understanding with sexism.”

He ran for mayor of Chicago in 1967 and ran for boss in 1968 underneath a Freedom and Peace Party. He was on a list in 8 states and got 47,133 votes, as Ken Rudin wrote for NPR.

Hunger strikes were a visit romantic apparatus for Gregory. He told Juan Williams on Talk of a Nation that he went though plain food for dual and a half years to criticism a fight in Vietnam.

At one point, he pronounced he weighed 365 pounds. But he mislaid a lot of weight fasting to criticism a war. “I went on a fast, 40 days of water. Forty days of fruit juice. Forty days of fruit. And afterwards 40 days of H2O again,” Gregory told NPR.

In 2000, Gregory went on a craving strike to criticism military brutality, prolonged before a stream call of activism.

Gregory promoted some swindling theories, revelation NPR in 2005 about conspiracies involving a genocide of Princess Diana and a Sept. 11 attacks. “The FBI and a CIA is substantially a dual many immorality entities that ever existed in a story of a planet,” Gregory told Ed Gordon on News Notes.

He was also an desirous health guru, who doled out recommendation to many for improved living, including celebrities like Michael Jackson, whom he suggested during a singer’s trial.

The musician Questlove paid reverence to Gregory’s sustaining change on Instagram, as “one of a initial vital black total we saw advocating for a healthier lifestyle for black folks that were held on diseased choices we’ve done in a name of cheaper presence options,” he wrote.

Gregory joked about removing aged with Tavis Smiley in 2002:

“Here’s how we can tell when you’re removing old. When someone enrich those pleasing alligator boots you’re wearing and you’re barefooted. … Or when your lady or male hollers downstairs, `Dear, run upstairs and let’s have some sex,’ and we scream back, `You know we can only do one or a other,’ afterwards we kind of be in trouble, we know.”

Gregory was married for some-more than 50 years and had 10 children. His daughter Ayanna Gregory expelled a strain called “A Ballad For My Father” in 2007. She told NPR that her father was left from home often, though it was since “human rights became his life.”

She sang: “As a small girl, we didn’t know what we meant to this world. If we had a dime for each time somebody told me it’s to save their lives and altered their minds. You planted seeds so prolonged ago low in me so we would grow.”

Gregory mused about genocide in 2006, when articulate with Ed Gordon about a flitting during a time of Coretta Scott King:

“Let me only contend this, whenever we die from this planet, we feel we go some place, and my outing going to be so prolonged to wherever we go, we got instructions from my mother to put a integrate of backpacks.”