Richard Claxton Gregory was an American civil rights activist, social critic, writer, entrepreneur, comedian, and actor.

Born: October 12, 1932, St. Louis, MO

Died: August 19, 2017,Washington, D.C.


I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that.

I never believed in Santa Claus because I knew no white dude would come into my neighborhood after dark.

Hell hath no fury like a liberal scorned.

If they took all the drugs, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine off the market for six days, they'd have to bring out the tanks to control you.

Political promises are much like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning of the relationship between candidate and voter, but are quickly forgotten.

In most places in the country, voting is looked upon as a right and a duty, but in Chicago it's a sport.

Just being a Negro doesn't qualify you to understand the race situation any more than being sick makes you an expert on medicine.

When you have a good mother and no father, God kind of sits in. It's not enough, but it helps.

And we love to dance, especially that new one called the Civil War Twist. The Northern part of you stands still while the Southern part tries to secede.

I wouldn't mind paying taxes - if I knew they were going to a friendly country.

Riches do not delight us so much with their possession, as torment us with their loss.

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Comment by greenheron on August 20, 2017 at 6:47am

The year I was in 8th grade, a couple things happened that blew my mind and started me down one road and not another.

One was that for my 8th grade school field trip to NYC, the bus drove us to Manhattan via Harlem and I had a window seat. Another was that I was learning to play guitar so I could play Beatles songs, and my teacher gave me some MI John Hurt to listen to. 

Another was that a Quaker friend named Alice (whom my parents hated) took me to hear Dick Gregory speak. The audience was mostly white people but he did not make us feel bad or guilty. He made us laugh and he made utter super solid sense. I thought he was brilliant. I was too young to vote when he ran for president, but I plastered his campaign stickers on my school notebooks and wore his pin. When I finally got the opportunity to vote for a smart qualified black man for president, I remembered how as a little girl, I’d marched around my school wearing my Dick Gregory pin.

RIP and thank you Dick Gregory.

Comment by koshersalaami on August 20, 2017 at 7:49am

I saw him speak once. It was about Kennedy assassination conspiracy theory, oddly on the night that the Zapruder film was first televised. A very important figure who understood the scope of American structural problems. 

Comment by Jonathan Wolfman on August 20, 2017 at 8:37am

I saw him at The Main Point coffeehouse/performance center, Bryn Mawr, PA, 1968. Every word, every gesture, sparkled brilliance.

Comment by J.P. Hart on August 20, 2017 at 8:59am

One of the brilliant voices of several generations, Godspeed, kind sir! (spinning some crowded rush together). Had the privilege of seeing and hearing Mr. Gregory at university musta been '70, shortly after he'd endeavored his orange juice 'sensible fasting'. He'd defined charisma and inspiration . . .} 

Comment by marilyn sands on August 20, 2017 at 3:24pm

I didn't see him live - but he was a favorite comedian of mine on TV.  He was direct with his 'new' audience & was a major mover & shaker of the movement.


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