Der US-amerikanische Comedian, Bürgerrechtler, Schauspieler und Unternehmer Dick Gregory ist im Alter von 84 Jahren an Herzversagen gestorben.
Hugh Hefner entdeckte ihn
Seit den 1960er-Jahren hat Dick Gregory Rassismus und andere soziale Probleme kritisiert und war einer der ersten Afroamerikaner, der regelmäßig vor einem weißen Publikum aufgetreten ist. Entdeckt wurde Gregory vom „Playboy“-Gründer Hugh Hefner, der ihn für seinen Nachtclub engagierte.
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.
Dick Gregory war einer der bestbezahlten schwarzen Entertainer seiner Zeit
Bald folgten Auftritte in sämtlichen bekannten US-Talkshows, eine Rolle im Filmdrama „Sweet Love, Bitter“ sowie 1964 die Veröffentlichung seiner Autobiographie „Nigger“, die sich bis heute über eine Million Mal verkaufte.
Dick Gregory betätigte sich aber auch politisch: Er wurde mehrmals bei Demonstrationen, beispielsweise gegen den Vietnamkrieg, festgenommen und nahm an Hungerstreiks teil. 1968 kandierte er außerdem, wenn auch erfolglos, für die US-Präsidentschaft.
I was probably 25-years-old before I realized my father called many people champ. I was clearly paying attention yet I never heard it other than when he was calling me. One of his finest gifts was the ability to make you sit up and pay attention. For a week, I watched my father cause some of the sharpest medical minds to sit up and pay attention. What began a little over a week ago as a simple Urinary Tract Infection wrecked havoc on my father's slim frame. Events were set in motion that ultimately proved to be too much. A bifurcated thoracic aortic aneurysm ultimately was too big a blow. For a lifetime, my father took all the hits, however, this hit was too much. A life heavily sacrificed had ultimately taken its toll. 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. A routine few days in the hospital suddenly turned dire. My father transitioned encircled by his family in love. It was actually purifying and a blessing to bear witness to unbridled familial love and peaceful understanding. For a week, my family stood 24 hour vigil over our father, even when it appeared routine. Way too much laughter for a hospital room I am certain. From comedy to civil rights to a life dedicated to equality, he never waned. Immeasurable generational sacrifice. A transformative block buster comedian who obliterated the color line. He quickly realized that the inequities and travesties of life were no laughing matter. There is no question humanity is better for it, we will allow his legendary history to stand for itself. Generations will delve into his sacrifice, comedic genius, focus and aptitude. For now, we simply want to reflect on his Service and Grace. Civil Rights, Women's Rights, children's Rights, Human Rights, Disabled Rights, Animal Rights. Dick Gregory's DNA is virtually on every movement for fairness and equality for all livings things on this planet. He was rarely one to rest and never one to stop championing for peace. Hopefully now he may find some semblance of them both. (Cont.)
Dick Gregory hinterlässt eine große Familie
Nun ist Dick Gregory, der bis zuletzt als Comedian auf der Bühne stand, an den Folgen einer bakteriellen Infektion verstorben. Auf Instagram gedenkt Gregorys Sohn seinem Vater: „In großer Trauer bestätigt die Gregory-Familie, dass ihr Vater, Komikerlegende und Bürgerrechtler Mr. Dick Gregory heute Abend diese Erde in Washington DC verlassen hat.“
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 - Christian Gregory
Gregory hinterlässt seine Ehefrau Lillian, die er 1959 geheiratet hat und zehn gemeinsame Kinder.