Comedian Dick Gregory, dies at 84.

The memorial has been growing under Dick Gregory's image on the side of Ben's Chili Bowl.

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - For Geraldine Breakfield laying a bouquet of yellow roses is a small gesture to memorialize a man who had an enormous impact on her life.  “I love yellow roses, and to me it’s joy.  The joy that he gave to this world.”

The memorial has been growing under Dick Gregory’s image on the side of Ben’s Chili Bowl, ever since his death last night.

RELATED: Dick Gregory, Stand-Up Comedian and Activist, Dies at 84

Dick Gregory became famous as one of the first black comedians to skyrocket to fame in the sixties.

He became a household name on television and in comedy clubs across the country.

Ben’s Chili Bowl owner Virginia Ali met him more than half a century ago, after a performance at the Howard theater around the corner.

“We watched him grow; we watched him do so many wonderful things through all these years telling jokes that were factual and funny.” Said Ali.

Gregory was vocal an activist- against the Vietnam war and with the civil rights movement.  Elizabeth Croydon says he was also a tremendous mentor to other stand up comedians like herself.

“It is beautiful to see someone who has touched so many generations and written so many books.  And if there’s one thing you can take away from Dick Gregory’s life it is to make a stand and to make that stand for as long as you can.”

RELATED: Dick Gregory, legendary comic and civil rights activist, dies at 84

On twitter today many famous friends reacted to the news of his death.  Whoopi Goldberg- called him ‘fall on your face funny.’ Wesley Snipes said he made an ‘I was here' mark on the world.’

Gregory died last night at the age of 84, the cause of his death has not been released.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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