Dick Gregory was on the frontline in the sixties during the Civil Rights Era; today he continues to be a “drum major for justice and equality.”
Gregory, Richard Claxton ‘Dick’ (Born, October 12, 1932, St. Louis, Mo.), African American comedian and civil rights activist whose social satire changed the way white Americans perceived African American comedians since he first performed in public. Dick Gregory entered the national comedy scene in 1961 when Chicago’s Playboy Club (as a direct request from publisher Hugh Hefner) booked him as a replacement for white comedian, ‘Professor’ Irwin Corey.
Gregory’s activism continued into the 21st Century. In response to published allegations that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) had supplied cocaine to predominantly African American areas in Los Angeles, thus spurring the crack epidemic, Gregory protested at CIA headquarters and was arrested. In 1992 he began a program called “Campaign for Human Dignity” to fight crime in St. Louis neighborhoods.
In 1973, the year he released his comedy album Caught in the Act, Gregory moved with his family to Plymouth, Massachusetts, where he developed an interest in vegetarianism and became a nutritional consultant. In 1984 he founded Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. In 1987 Gregory introduced the Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet, a powdered diet mix, which was immensely profitable.