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Second Legendary Comedian Dies In One Week

More sad news had rocked the entertainment world with the passing of another star.

The family of Dick Gregory has passed along the sad news that the legendary comedian and civil rights activist has passed away at the age of 84. Gregory rocketed to fame in the 1960s as he broke racial barriers, and he used his unique comedy stylings to spread messages of social justice. As Rolling Stone shares, his son Christian shared the emotional news on social media.

"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," he wrote. "The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time."

Reports indicate that Gregory had been hospitalized for about a week in Washington DC with a severe bacterial infection. He was one of the first black standup comedians to strike a chord with white audiences, and he would go on to become a passionate advocate of several civil rights initiatives.

"From comedy to civil rights to a life dedicated to equality, he never waned. Immeasurable generational sacrifice. A transformative blockbuster comedian who obliterated the color line," Christian’s post continued. "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."

Despite his passion for civil rights, Gregory was able to look at the lighter side of things during his memorable routines.

"Where else in the world but America, 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?" he said at one point.

"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 said at another time.

Tributes quickly poured in upon news of his passing.

"Dick Gregory's unflinching honesty and courage, inspired us to fight, live, laugh and love despite it all," shared Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

"About being black in America Dick Gregory has passed away, Condolences to his family and to us who won't have his insight 2 lean on R.I.P," shared Whoopi Goldberg.

Gregory remained active on the comedy circuit until just recently. He canceled some appearances this month due to health concerns, but he remained active on social media. Gregory thanked well-wishers for their thoughts and prayers, and he indicated that he had some more things to say when he got back on stage.

"We have so much work still to be done, the ugly reality on the news this weekend proves just that," Gregory wrote.

Gregory is survived by his wife, Lillian, and 10 children. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and loved ones of the beloved comedian.

Source: Rolling Stone, NBC News
Photo: ABC 7

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