Dick Gregory, the comedian and civil rights crusader, died Saturday. He was 84.
Gregory gained attention as a comedian in the early 1960s, and was the first black comedian to widely win plaudits from white audiences.
-He was noted for his political and social activism, beginning in the civil rights movement in the 1960s. He attended the historic 1963 March on Washington.
-He ran for mayor of Chicago in 1967 and ran for president in 1968 under the Freedom and Peace Party. He was on the ballot in eight states and got 47,133 votes, as Ken Rudin wrote for NPR.
-Hunger strikes were a frequent activist tool for Gregory. He told Juan Williams on Talk of the Nation that he went without solid food for two and a half years to protest the war in Vietnam.
-At one point, he said he weighed 365 pounds. But he lost a lot of weight fasting to protest the war. "I went on a fast, 40 days of water. Forty days of fruit juice. Forty days of fruit. And then 40 days of water again," Gregory told NPR.
-In 2000, Gregory went on a hunger strike to protest police brutality, long before the current wave of activism.
-Was influential to pretty much everyone, and everything.
This happened last Saturday, but I see there was no post on his death....hmm...