"When I go to funerals," Gregory says, "the only folks I see getting buried is you eaters"
In 2001, Dick Gregory was diagnosed with a rare form of Cancer
He refused traditional medical treatment – chemotherapy –and with the assistance of some of the finest minds in alternative medicine, put together a regimen of a variety of diet, vitamins, exercise, and modern devices not even known to the public, which ultimately resulted in his reversing the trend of the Cancer to the point where today he is 100% Cancer free.
Gregory's going public with his diagnosis has helped millions of his fans around the world to understand what Cancer specialists have been trying to explain for decades, which is that "Cancer is curable."
Gregory's improbable conversion from comic to dietician began in the South. "I became a vegetarian after I saw a Mississippi sheriff kick my wife when she was nine months' pregnant," he says. "I had to convince myself that the reason I did nothing was that I was non-violent."
"And that wasn't the reason?" "I was scared. But afterwards I decided that if I
wouldn't hit a man who kicked my pregnant wife, I
couldn't participate in the destruction of any
animal that never harmed me."
In the late 1960s he regularly fasted in excess of 40 days at a time, to publicize world famine. For two-and-a-half years, he ate no solid food as a protest against the Vietnam War. He was still following this regime when he completed several long-distance runs - one from LA to New York - frequently accompanied by Muhammad Ali, who described Gregory as "one of the greatest Americans of modern times".
"The first time I met Dick," Ali said, "I knew I was good for five miles. I decided I was going to take this chump and see what he could do. We went four miles and Dick wasn't even breathing hard. I stepped up the next mile real fast. Dick followed me, then he got faster. After that, I got into the car. Dick ran another 15 miles. I said to myself, 'This man is crazy.'"
It can't be easy, living on raw fruit and vegetable juice for 40 years.
"When I go to funerals," Gregory says, "the only folks I see getting buried is you eaters."
At John Lennon's request, Gregory devised a diet to help him withdraw from opiates and alcohol.
"When John called me," he says, "he told me to come to Holland, where he was 'living in a cave'. To me, a cave was a dark place where bats hang out. His cave looked like Buckingham Palace."
Gregory was in Tehran in 1979, negotiating with Ayatollah Khomeini for the release of the U.S. military hostages, and has continued to dedicate his life to publicizing repression. These days,, he rarely performs comedy, he says, but he's constantly on the road, lecturing on diet and ethics.