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Dick Gregory, comedian and civil rights activist, dies at 84

He rose from an impoverished childhood in St Louis to become a celebrated satirist

Image Credit: REUTERS
FILE PHOTO - Comedian Dick Gregory receives his star on Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Gus Ruelas/File Photo
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Dick Gregory, who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humour to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. He was 84.

Gregory’s son, Christian, said his father died late on Saturday in Washington DC after being hospitalised for about a week. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection.

Gregory was one of the first black comedians to find mainstream success with white audiences in the early 1960s. He rose from an impoverished childhood in St Louis to become a celebrated satirist who deftly commented upon racial divisions at the dawn of the civil rights movement.

He also ran for president in 1968 as the Peace and Freedom party candidate.

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