NAACP Celebrates the Life of Comedian Trailblazer Richard Pryor

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) celebrates the life of Richard Pryor who died December 12th in a California hospital from a heart attack. Pryor, a comedian, actor, writer, producer and director, often addressed issues about social justice and race in America using his life as the backdrop.

Bruce S. Gordon, NAACP President and CEO, said, "I feel like I grew up with Richard Pryor. His humor made me laugh until I cried. However, embedded in that humor were powerful social statements. Richard Pryor was special. There will never be another Mudbone."

In 1960, after joining the Army, Pryor pursued a career in comedy, which ultimately led to appearances on national television's Ed Sullivan and Merv Griffin shows.

After changing his routine in 1970, Pryor found success and controversy in doing edgy comedy that reflected an urban lifestyle, a routine Pryor called 'profane and profound.'

Also in the 70's, Pryor appeared in successful movies such as Lady Sings the Blues, Uptown Saturday Night, Car Wash, Which Way Is Up and Stir Crazy and had co-writing credit on the movie Blazing Saddles, the television series Sanford and Son and The Lily Tomlin Special for which he won an Emmy.

Pryor's comedic performances were unparalleled and made him one of the highest paid entertainers of his generation. He is credited with paving the way for comedians to be successful in the industry. Pryor recently celebrated his 65th birthday.

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