Did Dick Gregory Receive Almost 50,000 Votes in the 1968 Presidential Election?

Here is the latest in a series of examinations into urban legends about TV and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of the TV urban legends featured so far.

TV URBAN LEGEND: Dick Gregory received almost 50,000 votes in the 1968 Presidential Election.

Yesterday’s legend about Gracie Allen’s run for President reminded me of a similar story about the comedian Dick Gregory.

Dick Gregory became a stand-up comedian in the late 1950s, when black comedians were only then starting to get some attention from the national television market.

Gregory began appearing on various talk shows in the early 1960s doing his act and became a popular national comedian.

Gregory used this fame to become more of a political figure. This really took off when he released his 1964 book, Nigger: An Autobiography, to great commercial and critical acclaim (it sold roughly ten million copies!!!).

Gregory became a major figure in the civil rights movement, as well as various other movements that he supported, such as the legalization of certain drugs.

In 1967, he unsuccessfully ran for the office of the Mayor of Chicago.

In 1968, Gregory ran as a write-in candidate for the President of the United States.

And amazingly enough, unlike Gracie Allen, people actually DID vote for Gregory.

He won a remarkable 47,097 votes!

Gregory, now in his early 80s, is mostly retired, but he still occasionally shows up as a guest on various talk shows (mostly radio programs). He spoke at the funeral for the musician James Brown, who he was friends with.

That’s an amazing turnout for a write-in candidate, something Gregory will always have as a legacy.

The legend is…

STATUS: True

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is bcronin@legendsrevealed.com

6 Replies to “Did Dick Gregory Receive Almost 50,000 Votes in the 1968 Presidential Election?”

  1. We are all on a train going somewhere and
    Dick Gregory and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
    paid our fare.

    The LOVE for the Honorable Dick Gregory cannot be weighed.

    Charles Micheaux
    Micheaux Films & Publsihing Company
    Atlanta, Georgia

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