Aug. 20 (UPI) – Comedian, civil rights activist and author Dick Gregory is dead at the age of 84, his longtime publicist announced Saturday.

Gregory was surrounded by members of his family, including his wife Lillian, when he died at the Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington D.C.

The Missouri native had been touring the East Coast when he fell ill and was hospitalized last weekend.

“He was one of the sweetest, smartest, most loving people one could ever know,” Steve Jaffe, his publicist of 50 years, said in statement. “I just hope that God is ready for some outrageously funny times.”

Funeral details are expected to be announced soon.

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