Legendary comedian Dick Gregory was born on this day in 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri


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Legendary comedian Dick Gregory was born on this day, Oct. 12, in 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri. Born Richard Claxton “Dick” Gregory, he discovered his passion for comedy at an early age when he was drafted to the U.S. Army in 1954. It was after winning several Army talent shows that he began to develop his social satire. He hit the comedy scene in 1961 when Hugh Hefner asked him to perform at the Chicago’s Playboy Club.

The comedian’s activism led Gregory to get involved with politics. He ran for president in 1968, as part of the Freedom and Peace Party. He lost and later published his book, Write Me In, about his presidential campaign.

FILE – In this July 21, 2012 file photo, comedian and activist Dick Gregory poses for a portrait during the PBS TCA Press Tour in Beverly Hills, Calif. Gregory, the comedian and activist and who broke racial barriers in the 1960s and used his humor to spread messages of social justice and nutritional health, has died. He was 84. Gregory died late Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Washington, D.C. after being hospitalized for about a week, his son Christian Gregory told The Associated Press. He had suffered a severe bacterial infection. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP, File)

Gregory’s strong sense of social justice and uncanny ability to find humor in serious issues made him a comedy legend. He passed away in 2017.

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