Dick Gregory, Civil Rights Activist And Stand-Up Comedian, Dies At 84

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He broke ground at the Playboy Club in Chicago and on Jack Paar’s ‘Tonight Show,’ then became a potent activist for civil rights

Dick Gregory (October 12, 1932 – August 19, 2017), a pioneering force of comedy in the 1960s who parlayed his career as a stand-up into a life of social and political activism, has died Saturday of heart failure, his rep confirmed to The Hollywood Reporter. He was 84.

It is with enormous sadness that the Gregory family confirms that their father, comedic legend… https://t.co/UL9ATwwBxv

— Dick Gregory (@IAmDickGregory) August 20, 2017

“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, D.C.,” his son, Christian Gregory said via a statement from his father’s rep. “The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time.”

“He was one of the sweetest, smartest, most loving people one could ever know,” his publicist of 50 years, Steve Jaffe, tells THR. “I just hope that God is ready for some outrageously funny times.” A full statement and details of Gregory’s funeral will be released Sunday, Jaffe said.

According to an Aug. 17 statement written by his son, Gregory was recently hospitalized.

My father, Dick Gregory remains hospitalized with a serious but stable medical condition. His prognosis is excellent and…

Posted by Dick Gregory on Thursday, August 17, 2017

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