Comedian & Activist Dick Gregory Dies At 84
… this would not prove to be the end of his participation in electoral politics.
Gregory unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States in 1968 as a write-in candidate of the Freedom and Peace Party, which had broken off from the Peace and Freedom Party.
Gregory was an outspoken feminist, and in 1978 joined Gloria Steinem and other suffragists to lead a ultimately successful march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the United States Capitol of over 100,000 on Women’s Equality Day (August 26, 1978).
Gregory was diagnosed with lymphoma in late 1999. He said he was treating the cancer with herbs, vitamins, and exercise, which he believes kept the cancer in remission.
Since the late 1980s, Gregory was a figure in the health food industry by advocating for a raw fruit and vegetable diet. He wrote the introduction to Viktoras Kulvinskas’ book Survival into the 21st Century. Gregory first became a vegetarian in the 1960s, and has lost a considerable amount of weight by going on extreme fasts, some lasting upwards of 50 days. He developed a diet drink called “Bahamian Diet Nutritional Drink” and went on TV shows advocating his diet and to help the morbidly obese.
In 1984 he founded Health Enterprises, Inc., a company that distributed weight loss products. With this company, Gregory made efforts to improve the life expectancy of African Americans, which he believes is being hindered by poor nutrition and drug and alcohol abuse. In 1985 Gregory introduced the “Slim-Safe Bahamian Diet”, a powdered diet mix. He launched the weight-loss powder at the Whole Life Expo in Boston under the slogan “It’s cool to be healthy”. The diet mix, drunk three times a day, was said to provide rapid weight loss. Gregory received a multimillion-dollar distribution contract to retail the diet.
In 2014 Dick Gregory updated his original 4X formula which was the basis for the Bahamian Diet and created his new and improved “Caribbean Diet for Optimal Health”.
Gregory died at a hospital in Washington, D.C. on August 19, 2017. The cause was heart failure.
Gregory had eleven children (including one son, Richard Jr., who died at two months): Michele, Lynne, Pamela, Paula, Stephanie (a.k.a. Xenobia), Gregory, Christian, Miss, Ayanna, and Yohance.
he is and forever will be missed.