Dick Gregory, the groundbreaking comic and Civil Rights-era icon, has died.
Gregory's reps confirmed that he succumbed to heart failure on Aug. 19 after being hospitalized earlier in the week. His son, Christian, also confirmed the news in an Instagram post on the late comedian's account.
"The family appreciates the outpouring of support and love and respectfully asks for their privacy as they grieve during this very difficult time. More details will be released over the next few days," he wrote.
Gregory was a socially-conscious satirist who was widely regarded as one of the first black comics to be embraced by white audiences. He was deeply involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, ran for President as a write-in candidate in 1968, and was still actively touring and making appearances up until his death.
Gregory's passing sparked an outpouring of grief and memorial posts on social media, as his peers and fans of both his comedy and social activism paid their respects.
"I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark." ~Dick Gregory #RIPDickGregory
— The Crisis Magazine (@thecrisismag) August 20, 2017
There's been a real outpouring since the death was confirmed on Saturday night. You can keep up with it right here.
Gregory shared a powerful message earlier this year, placing the current political and social justice struggles into a more personalized perspective.
As I approach my 85th revolution around the sun this year, I wonder why has it been so difficult for humankind to be kind. So difficult to be loving and lovable. For my militant brothers and sisters, please don't misconstrue loving and lovable to be weak or submissive. Love will always be triumphant over hate. I know I will not be here forever, nor do I desire to be. I have seen progress like most cannot appreciate because they were not there to bear witness. I dedicated my life to the movement. By doing so, I never thought I'd still be here. So many of my friends are not here. They were cut down by a system of hatred and evil. If they were here, they'd see the progress that I see. The reality is far from perfect, but profoundly better than what daily reality was for my generation. Young folks if you are wise you would talk less and spend more time listening to the elders who saw evil up front and personal everyday. #howlong I've been asking this question for over 40 years! How long before we realize our Universal God given potential? We have made immeasurable progress that cannot be debated. That said, we still have a long way to go. I have no desire to see this all the way through, the dreams I dreamed about 60 years ago have definitively been realized. To the young folks of all ethnicities I say #staywoke not as a catchphrase but as a lifestyle. Most of the things that are killing us are in our minds and our daily routines. The way we think, the "food" we eat and the water we drink or so often don't drink. While so many go out and protest the small evils, the big evils are ever present and welcomed into our homes. From the top to bottom of my heart I say #staywoke Love you to life, DIck Gregory
A post shared by Dick Gregory (@therealdickgregory) on