The Legendary Dick Gregory Remembered

Late Saturday evening  comedian, social activist, social critic, writer, and entrepreneur Dick Gregory passed away at the age of 84. Gregory broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health.

Gregory died in Washington, D.C. after being hospitalized for a week due to a severe bacterial infection.

Gregory’s son Christian Gregory posted this statement on his father’s social media pages:

“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 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.”

“Years of severe fasting, not for health but for social change, had damaged his vasculature system long ago. He always reminded us, many of his fasts were not about his personal health but an attempt to heal the world,” Christian Gregory to the Associated Press.

Gregory used humor to bring attention to issues such as social inequality and racism, among other issues affecting African Americans. He admired Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and embraced nonviolence and became a vegetarian and marathon runner.

“Where else in the world but America,” he joked, “could I have lived in the worst neighborhoods, attended the worst schools, rode in the back of the bus, and get paid $5,000 a week just for talking about it?”

Gregory unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Chicago in 1966 and U.S. president in 1968, when he got 200,000 votes as the Peace and Freedom party candidate.

Gregory was diagnosed with lymphoma in 2000 and fought it with herbs, exercise and vitamins. It went in remission a few years later.

He later went on to write over a dozen books.

Gregory impacted so many and once word of his death got out, the tributes came pouring in.

Christian Gregory, son of Dick Gregory, shared this touching tribute of his father Sunday:

A healthy dose of wit and wisdom just arrived in heaven, of that I am absolutely certain. Dick Gregory is eternal. He sacrificed so others could, the true beauty was that the others were always the disenfranchised and the underdog. There is a profound amount of ugly in the world today. Consider some slight discomfort to make life a little better as we pay tribute to a lifelong crusader. I miss you already Pop. You were undoubtedly a fine human being and the coolest Dad! It was a pleasure and an honor being your wingman! Loving and lovable, Christian Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn't take a long moment to salute the women and men of Sibley Memorial Hospital here in Washington, DC. You are an amazing and fine group of human beings. The respect and dignity you showed my family will never be forgotten. The full spectrum of employees was a godsend. This was obviously a very challenging time for us. On many occasions my father said "They must know who I am". When my father would say that, he never meant his celebrity he always meant his spirit. Thank you all for knowing and recognizing the fullness of who he was and forever will be. The Gregory Family is eternally grateful.

A post shared by Dick Gregory (@therealdickgregory) on

Whoopi Goldberg took to twitter to pay tribute to Gregory:

Here are other touching tributes to the late Dick Gregory:


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I am a digital content creator and have worked in the digital space for more than ten years. "Robinrazzi" is a nickname given from a former colleague because I'm known for having a camera in hand at all times. I have traveled the world covering entertainment events, celebrities and anything trending. I earned my BA in Communications from Penn State and a MS in Marketing from Johns Hopkins University. I currently serve as Director of Digital Content for WHUR and the Howard University Radio Network.

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