Civil Rights activist, comedian and writer Dick Gregory is no more

Dick Gregory - American civil rights activist, writer, social critic, actor and comedian has died.

According to a family statement Gregory breathed his last on Saturday in Washington D.C after a long term illness. However, the exact cause of the death wasn't revealed, Gregory's representative informed that he succumbed to a serious illness while being admitted to a hospital and died of a heart failure.

He was 84.

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Dick Gregory was born in St Louis, Missouri, and started off as a comedian after joining the army during the 1950's. After two years of serving in the army, Gregory, moved to Chicago in pursuit of his career as a stand up comic, where he became one of the first black comedians to perform to a white audience. Speaking on his position as one of the first prominent African American stand up comics, Gregory once told Huffington post why it was a challenge. "Blacks could sing and dance in the white night clubs but weren't allowed to stand flat-footed and talk to white folks, which is what a comic does," he said.

He became one of the first black comedians who broke the stereotype of black characters through their acts.

Gregory actively participated in the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960's and spoke against the Vietnam War and rallied with thousands of women in the feminist equality march in 1978.

His trailblazing social-political involvement also included running against Richard J. Daley for the major of Chicago in 1967 and also running for the President of the United States as a write-in candidate a year later. 

Although Gregory lost by a great margin, his presidential campaign also involved printing his face on dollar bills, which upon circulation, sparked nation-wide conversations and later had to be seized by the federal government.

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“We thought I was going to be a great athlete, and we were wrong, and I thought I was going to be a great entertainer, and that wasn’t it either. I’m going to be an American Citizen. First class,” he had once said.

Gregory will be remembered as one of the most prominent faces of Civil rights and freedom.

Thoughts and prayers to his family.

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