By: Kyle James | 08-20-2017 | News
Photo credit: Brendan Smialowski

Revolutionary Comedian And Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory Dies At 84

In a blow to both comedy and civil rights, acclaimed comedian Dick Gregory has passed away at age 84 on Saturday night. Gregory was hospitalized this weekend due to an unknown condition. His son made a statement on Facebook regarding his condition on Thursday, “When it comes to sickness and disease one’s age is highly significant. 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 definitively taken its toll.”

Gregory was widely considered as the first African-American comic to be regularly featured in front of white audiences in appearances both on stage and on numerous late night television shows. He was known for finding humor in the problems relating to race and segregation in the early 1960's and 1970's. Gregory's comedy shows were known as to be smart and clean. He rose to major fame due to his break out performance at the Playboy Club in downtown Chicago where he was filling in for one show when a white comedian canceled.

In a 2016 interview with Gregory, he said "When I started, a black comic couldn't work a white nightclub. You could sing, you could dance, but you couldn't stand flat-footed and talk — then the system would know how brilliant black folks was." He performed shows all the way until the weeks leading up to his death and he will be surely missed by old and young audiences alike.

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