American Comedian and Pacifist Dick Gregory

About the American comedian and pacifist Dick Gregory, history and biography of the social critic.



His Person: American comedian, activist, and social critic. Raised in the slums of St. Louis, Mo. Shined shoes as a youth in a billiard parlor where the white customers would rub his head for good luck. Was fired from his post office job for impersonating his colleagues and for flipping letters to Mississippi into the "overseas" slot. Gained prominence as a stand-up nightclub comedian satirizing topical events. Campaigned for civil rights, marched and fasted in protest of the Vietnam War. Believed that fasting creates a rallying point where "all the honest, ethical forces can gather." Espoused nonviolence as part of the "universal order." Ran for president with the Peace and Freedom party in 1968. Fought for social justice, racial equality, and human rights. Opposes poverty, institutional racism, assassination cover-ups, and junk food. Advocates a diet of fresh fruits and vegetables. Ran across the country in 1976 in protest of hunger in the U.S. and the world. Wrote From the Back of the Bus, Nigger: An Autobiography, Dick Gregory's Political Primer, and Dick Gregory's Diet for Folks Who Eat.

His Belief: "I would rather be killed by a man than kill a man myself. I believe that any time you muster an army together that's willing to die for what's right, you frighten the death out of armies that are willing to kill for what's wrong."

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