He was socially conscious, socially active and incredibly thought provoking. The 84-year-old trailblazing comedian, author, activist and public speaker, Dick Gregory, passed away late Saturday night (August 19). The cause of death has yet to be disclosed.
Gregory is a triple OG at being "woke." He became a comedic legend who served as precursor for funny men superstars of today, such as Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, who incorporate pensive commentary on political and social current events, as well as health, with a heavy focus on the black community.
His latest book, "Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between The Lines," (he has close to three dozens books and comedy albums in his catalog) just went on pre-order and is due out in September. Gregory had been on tour this summer and recently had to postpone and cancel shows due to illness.
His son, Christian Gregory, posted on Instagram via the page @therealdickgregory three days ago saying: "My father, Dick Gregory remains hospitalized with a serious but stable medical condition. His prognosis is excellent and he should be released within the next few days. After feeling ill last Wednesday (August 9), Mr. Gregory was taken to the hospital. He was evaluated, treated and released. Showing only minimal improvement we returned him to the hospital Saturday (August 12) he was evaluated and admitted. Balancing a fine line between privacy and his friends and fans (who are his extended family) right to know. We have and will always gladly and freely share this gift with the world."
Last night (August 19), Gregory confirmed the unfortunate passing of his father as well on social media.
"It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend and civil rights activist Mr. Dick Gregory departed this earth tonight in Washington, DC. ," the message read. "The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time. More details will be released over the next few days."
Dick Gregory didn't just talk about making changes, he actively pursued it. The St. Louis native was heavily active in the Civil Rights movement and in 1967 he ran for Mayor of Chicago. In 1968, he ran for President of the United States as a write-in candidate. For the past 50 years, Gregory remained outspoken had become a very prolific public speaker. Gregory is survived by 11 children.