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Comedian And Civil Rights Activist Dick Gregory To Speak At U.Va. Celebration Of The Life Of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 14, 2004 -- The University community will celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with a talk by nationally known comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. Gregory’s address, “A Conversation with Dick Gregory: History, Humanity and Humor,” will be held Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. in Old Cabell Hall.

This event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by U.Va.’s offices of African-American Affairs and the Vice President for Student Affairs, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Gregory grew up in poverty in St. Louis. He earned a track scholarship to Southern Illinois University, becoming the first member of his family to attend college.

Gregory left college in 1953 to join the U.S. Army, where his talent in comedy and performance developed in military shows. He went professional in 1958, working in Chicago nightclubs, and within three years had earned a national reputation.

Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Gregory has been active in a number of causes, including desegregation, opposition to the Vietnam War, world hunger and prevention of drug abuse.

In 1973, Gregory moved with his family to Plymouth, Mass., where he became a nutritional consultant and founded a weight-loss product distribution company, Health Enterprises, Inc. In 1996, he returned to the stage in his critically acclaimed one-man show, “Dick Gregory Live!”

Gregory is the author of several books, including “Nigger: An Autobiography”; “Up from Nigger”; “No More Lies: The Myth and Reality of American History” and his recently published memoirs, “Callus on My Soul.”

Contact: Charlotte Crystal, (434) 924-6858

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (434) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (434) 924-7550.

SOURCE: U.Va. News Services

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