Civil rights activist, comic legend Dick Gregory (1932-2017) has passed

CHICAGO, IL – APRIL 11: Dick Gregory attends the Roger Ebert Memorial Tribute at Chicago Theatre on April 11, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images)

This was posted on Saturday, August 19, 2017 by RODNEY HO/ on his AJC Radio & TV Talk

Civil rights activist and comic Dick Gregory has passed at age 84.

TV commentator Roland Martin posted a Twitter note at 9:45 p.m. EST to report the news. There has been no details of what was ailing Gregory. His family released a statement soon after confirming the news.

Gregory did stand-up comedy for more than 55 years and continued to tour in his 80s.

I interviewed Gregory  a couple of years ago and he noted how important the civil rights movement was to him personally and how much he admired Martin Luther King Jr. “Here’s a man that took on the mightiest nation of the world with no guns, no anger,” Gregory told me. “He brought it to its knees. It wasn’t my mama or my church. It was this movement.”

The admiration was mutual. “He provoked us to think and to change,” the King Center posted on Twitter. “And he made us laugh, too. Rest, our dead leader #DickGregory.”

Gregory fell ill last week and had to cancel a scheduled appearance at Norcross’ Atlanta Comedy Theater. Gary Abdo, who runs the comedy club, a couple of days ago texted me to say he had re-scheduled the shows for August 30-31 and at the time, Abdo was optimistic Gregory was on the mend.

Martin spoke with former Atlanta mayor and civil rights leader Andrew Young, who told him, “He was with the Movement from the very beginning and almost to the end.”

Read and sign the online guestbook for Dick Gregory

In 2009, he was ranked #81 in a Comedy Central top 100 comics of all time. 


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