Sad news rippled through the show business community earlier today (August 20th) as the news was made official that comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory had passed away at the age of 84. A noted stand-up who got his big break as a fill-in for Irwin Corey at the Playboy Club in Chicago, Gregory went on to find success not only as someone who made American audiences laugh for decades, but also as a champion for those who felt marginalized by rights issues and lack of government acceptance or response. He was an outspoken advocate for civil right in America during the 1960's and also lent his voice to the movement against the Vietnam War. Hip-hop artists, including Chance the Rapper, took to Twitter to express their sadness at the icon's passing.
Known for satirizing the United States' racial divide in his act, Gregory was revered by many in the comedy community who say him as not only an influence but a friend as well.
Other celebrities from the worlds of film, politics and even science also made sure their tributes to the late comedian were heard on social media.
Gregory's son was the one who broke the news on social media earlier this morning, asking the public to respect his family's privacy while also thanking everyone who had shown their support on social media and otherwise. No details about the man's cause of death or his health status at the time of his passing were available at the time of publication, but what we do know is that Gregory was hospitalized not long ago, which forced the cancellation of a booking he had in Atlanta.