Comedic Legend Dick Gregory Has Passed Away At 84-Years-Old
The man who was a giant in the comedic world and a social advocate for human rights left a legacy of making us laugh using the ugly truth and nothing but the truth.
A few days ago, we reported that comedian Dick Gregory was hospitalized with a serious, but undisclosed, medical condition. It is with a heavy heart that we follow up said report with news of his unfortunate passing. A Midwestern native, Gregory, born Richard Claxton Gregory, moved to Chicago, Illinois, where he became a part of a new generation of motivated, ambitious black comedians that included Nipsey Russell, Bill Cosby and Godfrey Cambridge.
They all broke with the minstrel tradition that presented stereotypical black characters with Gregory honing in on current events, especially racial issues, for much of his material. “Segregation is not all bad. Have you ever heard of a collision where the people in the back of the bus got hurt?” he said during one of his early routines. His son, Christian Gregory, broke the news on Facebook about his hospital stay, while Roland Martin shared the news of his passing on Twitter.
BREAKING NEWS: Legendary comedian and activist @IAmDickGregory has died. He was 84. He was a true legend and barrier breaker.
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) August 20, 2017
Rest in peace Dick Gregory pic.twitter.com/4ODdHfMhJV
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry2) August 20, 2017
— Rev Jesse Jackson Sr (@RevJJackson) August 20, 2017
“When it comes to sickness and disease, one’s age is highly significant,” his son, Christian, said on Facebook. “There is no such thing as a ‘simple’ condition. In advanced age, a simple cold or a simple infection could be catastrophic. At soon to be chronologically 85, my father’s true age far exceeds that. A life well-lived but heavily sacrificed has definitely taken its toll.
Dick Gregory, an advocate for social justice, healthier eating and drinking habits and freedom from oppression, was scheduled to perform with Paul Mooney in Atlanta, Wednesday, Aug. 16, but the show was postponed after he was hospitalized. “I’ve watched my father for a lifetime heal the world,” Christian Gregory wrote on Facebook, thanking everyone for their prayers. “We are truly grateful for the phenomenal care he has been receiving. My family and I remain thankful for all of the prayers, positive thoughts, messages and good energy.”
In addition to his wife, Gregory is survived by children Ayanna, Yohance, Stephanie, Miss, Christian, Michele, Pamela, Paula, Lynne and Gregory.
On a personal note, Dick Gregory was one of the first comics I discovered when I was a young boy. His humor, his reality raps and message within the punchlines made him stand out as a force to be reckoned with. As well as his ability to stand amongst the fighters, the rebels and the social justice warriors in denouncing evil and hate as enemies of peace and love, while showing us what black men are capable of when they are incorruptible.
We will miss you, Dick Gregory. From one brother to another, may you rest in blessings and within the glory of the Almighty.