*The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce has announced that comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory will be honored with the 2,542nd star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Monday, February 2, 2015.
The star in the category of Live Theatre/Performance will be dedicated at 1650 Vine Street near Hollywood & Vine.
“We are proud to honor Dick Gregory with a star on the Walk of Fame during Black History month. He has given so much to the world with his wisdom through his work in entertainment,” stated Leron Gubler, President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and emcee of the ceremonies.
The star ceremony will be streamed live exclusively on www.walkoffame.com
The day after the ceremony the celebration will continue with the Dick Gregory & Friends All Star Tribute and Toast on Tuesday, February 3, at 8:00 p.m. at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre, 1615 N. Vine Street in Hollywood.
Richard Claxton Gregory aka Dick Gregory is a comedian, civil rights activist, author, recording artist, actor, philosopher and anti-drug crusader. Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Gregory, 82, began his career as a comedian while serving in the military in the mid-1950s. He was drafted in 1954 while attending Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. After being discharged in 1956, with a desire to perform comedy professionally, he moved to Chicago.
Gregory attributes the launch of his career to Hugh Hefner, who watched him perform at Herman Roberts Show Bar. Hefner hired Gregory to work at the Chicago Playboy Club as a replacement for comedian Professor Irwin Corey.
By 1962, Gregory had become a nationally-known headline performer, selling out nightclubs, making numerous national television appearances, and recording popular comedy albums. Gregory, whose style was detached, ironic, and satirical, gained the attention of audiences with his political and controversial stand up acts. By being both outspoken and provocative, he became a household name and opened many doors for Black entertainers.
As an influential American comedian, he has used his voice to convey to both white and black audiences his message on civil rights. His social satire helped change the way white Americans perceived black American comedians since he first performed in the public arena.
By October of 1963, Dick Gregory was one of the highest paid entertainers in the world. At that time, he answered the call of [civil rights activist] Medgar Evers to come to Mississippi to join the movement. His life was forever changed. Gregory went to Selma, Alabama and spoke for two hours on a public platform two days before the voter registration drive known as “Freedom Day.” Gregory later became more involved in struggles for civil rights, activism against the Vietnam War, economic reform and anti-drug issues and other matters.
In 2000, Gregory was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., by a sold out house with special tributes by Mrs. Martin Luther King Jr. [Coretta Scott King], Stevie Wonder, Isaac Hayes, Cicely Tyson, Mark Lane, Marion Barry and many more.
Gregory is listed as No. 82 on Comedy Central’s list of the 100 Greatest Stand-Ups of all time. He has appeared in numerous films including: “Steppin: The Movie,” “Letter to the President,” “Malcolm X: A Search for Identity,” “In Remembrance of Martin,” “The Hot Chick,” “Children of the Struggle,” and many more. He has written 14 books and has 15 comedy albums that contain his stand up acts and his political commentary.
He has been married to Lillian Gregory since 1959 and on the day of his star ceremony they will also be celebrating their 56th wedding anniversary. They have 10 children.
Celebrities, politicians and statesmen alike from the Kennedy family to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and Marlon Brando sought Gregory’s wisdom and counsel; many still do so today.
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