During the s, Gregory became a pioneer in stand-up comedy for his "no-holds-barred" sets, in which he mocked bigotry and racism. He performed primarily to black audiences at segregated clubs until , when he became the first black comedian to successfully cross over to white audiences, appearing on television and putting out comedy record albums. Gregory was at the forefront of political activism in the s, when he protested the Vietnam War and racial injustice. He was arrested multiple times and went on many hunger strikes. Gregory died of heart failure at a Washington, D.
They had 11 children including one son, Richard Jr. In a interview with The Boston GlobeGregory was quoted as saying, "People ask me about being a father and not being there.
I say, 'Jack the Ripper had a father. Hitler had a father. Don't talk to me about family. Gregory was active in the civil rights movement.
On October 7,he came to Selma, Alabamaand spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as "Freedom Day" October 7, InGregory became more involved in civil rights activities, activism against the Vietnam Wareconomic reform, and anti-drug issues.
As a part of his activism, he went on several hunger strikes and campaigns in America and overseas.
In the early s, he was banned from Australia, where government officials feared he would " InGregory played a role in the search for three missing civil rights workersJames ChaneyAndrew Goodmanand Michael Schwernerwho vanished in Philadelphia, Mississippi. RaineyGregory became convinced that the Sheriff's office was complicit.
The FBIwhich had been criticized for inaction, eventually followed suit with its own reward, and the rewards worked. The bodies of the three men were found by the FBI 44 days after they disappeared.
At a civil rights rally marking the 40th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act ofGregory criticized the United States, calling it "the most dishonest, ungodly, unspiritual nation that ever existed in the history of the planet. As we talk now, America is 5 percent of the world's population and consumes 96 percent of the world's hard drugs". InGregory and his wife were arrested for illegal net fishing alongside of the Nisqually people in Washington state in a protest fish-in.
The tribe was protesting against the state laws that ban forms of fishing other than hook-and-line because it barred their rights guaranteed to them through a federal treaty that allowed them to fish in their traditional ways. Gregory began his political career by running against Richard J. Daley for Mayor of Chicago in Though he did not win, this would not prove to be the end of his participation in electoral politics.
He garnered 47, votes, including one from Hunter S. Thompson with fellow activist Mark Lane as his running mate in some states. His running mate in New Jersey was Dr. Famed pediatrician Dr. Benjamin Spock was the running mate in Virginia  and Pennsylvania  garnering more than the party he had left. Gregory then wrote the book Write Me In about his presidential campaign. One anecdote in the book relates the story of a publicity stunt that came out of Operation Breadbasket in Chicago.
Lillian Gregory. Lillian Gregory was the beautiful wife of comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. Her husband was in addition to the previously mentioned an entrepreneur, writer, and actor who sadly died on August 19, , at the age of 84, of heart failure. Richard Claxton "Dick" Gregory (October 12, - August 19, ) was an American comedian, social activist, social critic, writer, and entrepreneur. Gregory was born on October 12, in St. Louis, Missouri. He was raised in Chicago, weddingdaybutler.comy studied at Sumner High School and at Southern Illinois University weddingdaybutler.com had been married to Lillian Gregory . Dick Gregory was a pioneering comedian and civil rights activist who took on race with layered, nuanced humor during the turbulent weddingdaybutler.com: Oct 12,
The campaign had printed dollar bills with Gregory's image on them, some of which made it into circulation, causing considerable problems, but priceless publicity. The majority of these bills were quickly seized by the federal government. Gregory avoided being charged with a federal crime, later joking that the bills could not really be considered United States currency, because "everyone knows a black man will never be on a U.
Well, I suggest he make one long-distance call to the LBJ ranch". Shortly after this time, Gregory became an outspoken critic of the findings of the Warren Commission concerning the assassination of John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald. On March 6,Gregory and assassination researcher Robert J. An important historical event happened that night when the famous Zapruder film of JFK's assassination was shown to the public on TV for the first time.
The ERA narrowly failed to be ratified by the extended ratification date. Gregory and Mark Lane conducted landmark research into the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Lane was the author of conspiracy theory books such as Rush to Judgment. Not long after, the President told Gregory's long-time friend and public relations consultant Steve Jaffe"I love Dick Gregory; he is one of the funniest people on the planet.
King's birthday that broke everyone into laughter, when he noted that the President made Speaker Newt Gingrich ride "in the back of the plane," on an Air Force One trip overseas. Gregory was diagnosed with lymphoma in late He said he was treating the cancer with herbs, vitamins, and exercise, which he believed kept the cancer in remission. Beginning in the mids, Gregory was a figure in the health food industry by advocating for a raw fruit and vegetable diet.
He wrote the introduction to Viktoras Kulvinskas' book Survival into the 21st Century. Gregory first became a vegetarian in the s and lost a considerable amount of weight by going on extreme fasts, some lasting upwards of 50 days.
He developed a diet drink called "Bahamian Diet Nutritional Drink" and went on TV shows advocating his diet and to help the morbidly obese. Gregory founded a nutrition center called Dick Gregory Health enterprises, run by longtime friend and entertainment manager John Bellamy. InGregory stated he believed that air pollution and intentional water contamination with heavy metals such as lead and possibly manganese may be being used against black Americans, especially in urban neighborhoods, and that such factors could be contributing to high levels of violence in black communities.
On September 10,Gregory announced that he was going on a hunger strike. Inhe founded Health Enterprises, Inc. With this company, Gregory made efforts to improve the life expectancy of African Americans, which he believed was being hindered by poor nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse.
The diet mix, if drunk three times a day, was said to provide rapid weight loss. Gregory received a multimillion-dollar distribution contract to retail the diet. Inthe Ethiopian government adopted, to reported success, Gregory's formula to combat malnutrition during a period of famine in the country. Some of his health treatments have been described as "unorthodox" and "profitable rot". A week prior to his death, Gregory was hospitalized in Washington, D.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the Canadian football player, see Dick Gregory Canadian football. American comedian, social critic and writer. Lillian Smith m. United States portal. Archived from the original on March 19, Retrieved April 4, Retrieved October 28, The Economist.
October 31, Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved October 3, Accessed December 11, The Root. African Americans in the Performing Arts.
Infobase Publishing. Archived from the original on June 17, Huffington Post.
Retrieved October 31, The New York Times. May 16, Archived from the original on November 11, Retrieved November 11, New York Times. Retrieved November 1, Tom Dispatch.
Retrieved August 9, Louis Walk of Fame Inductees". Archived from the original on October 31, Retrieved April 25, Boston Globe. Retrieved October 27, Associated Press. Rutgers University Press.
The Alex Jones Channel.
September 14, Retrieved October 28, - via YouTube. March 19, April 1, Retrieved October 27, - via YouTube. The Huffington Post. Flickr - Photo Sharing! Beacon Press, ; rev. New York Daily News. Retrieved November 18, Archived from the original on September 9, The Native North American Almanac.
- weddingdaybutler.com. October 27, The Great Shark Hunt. Gonzo Papers.
Hubert Humphrey lost that election by a handful of votes - mine among them - and if I had it to do again I would still vote for Dick Gregory. Spock For President". Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
November 29, Cape Girardeau Southeast Missourian. March 6, Retrieved October 30, Los Angeles Times. January 15, June July 7, Martin Luther King Jr.
Dick Gregory's Wife Lilian Gregory
He was arrested dozens of times because of his activism. He continued his political activism throughout the s. He unsuccessfully ran against Richard Daley in for the office of mayor of Chicago. A year later, he also ran for U.
Over the years, Gregory became devoted to health and fitness, adopting a vegetarian diet and examining issues related to diet within African American communities. He became a noted university lecturer and also regularly went on hunger strikes to bring awareness to various global issues including the Vietnam War, women's rights, apartheid in South Africa, police brutality and American Indian rights.
He eventually filed a lawsuit against his business partners and experienced major financial troubles that led to the loss of his family's acre farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He also turned away from stand-up for a time, preferring to stay out of clubs where liquor was served, but he later made his way back to performing. They had 11 children; one son, Richard, Jr.
Gregory acknowledged that his wife was the primary emotional caretaker of their children due to the demands of his career. InGregory was diagnosed with lymphoma, but refused chemotherapy and instead turned to diet and alternative treatments. The cancer went into remission. He died on August 19,at the age of We strive for accuracy and fairness.
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