Richard Pryor was born Franklin Lenox Thomas December 1, 1940 in
Preoria, Illinois. He died December 10, 2005.
Star of many films, a controversial television series, and
numerous comedic albums, Richard Pryor is considered by many to be the
greatest comedian of his age. Although he began as a relatively
clean-cut stand-up comedian in the 1960s, he became best known in the
1970s as a down-to-earth speaker of truth and story-teller. Full of
profanity and personal stories of his own experiences as a Black man
in America, his act would inspire many of the great comedians of the
next age in the 1980s and 1990s. In the end, it is simply understood
that he single-handedly broke comedic and dramatic barriers as few
other comics have managed in modern times.
In 1988 Pryor was the first recipient of the Mark Twain Humor Award
from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.