Author, Civil Rights Activist, Comedian, Entrepreneur, Husband, Father. These were the titles held by Richard Claxton Gregory also known as Dick Gregory.
Dick Gregory’s career as a comedian began in 1954 when he was drafted. He was apart of the army’s entertainment division and resumed stand up comedy when he came back to the United States. Gregory’s breakout performance came in 1961, when he performed at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Club as an replacement act. After weeks of performances at the Playboy Club, he became a national comedy headliner, which helped him become the first African-American guest to appear on Jack Paar’s Tonight Show.
During the 1960’s, Dick Gregory let his political activism be known. Gregory was one of the lead activist of the Civil Rights Movements, making friends with the likes of Martin Luther King Jr. and Medgar Evers. In 1968, he ran for President of United States with the Freedom and Peace party.
“The movement don’t owe me nothing. I owe everything to the movement.” – Dick Gregory
Dick Gregory is an Author of four books: Nigger, an Autobiography (1964), No More Lies: The Myth and the Reality of American History (1971), Dick Gregory’s Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin’ With Nature (1973) and the memoir Callus on My Soul (2000).
At 82 years old in 2015, Dick received his very own star on the Walk of Fame in Hollywood.
Dick Gregory was a husband for over five decades and a father to 11 children. We celebrate his life by acknowledging his achievements and praise him for paving the way for others to follow.