Paul Mooney, Comedic Legend, Has Died

Comedic legend Paul Mooney has died at age 79. 

Mooney died Wednesday morning at his home in Oakland, California, after suffering a heart attack, his representative Cassandra Williams told The Associated Press. Journalist Roland Martin was the first to report about Mooney’s death.

The Twitter account for Mooney posted a tweet thanking the comedian’s fans for their condolences. 

“Thank you all from the bottom of all of our hearts … you’re all are the best!…… Mooney World” the tweet read. “The Godfather of Comedy – ONE MOON MANY STARS! .. To all in love with this great man.. many thanks.”

Mooney, whose birth name was Paul Gladney, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1941. He moved to Oakland as a child.

The stand-up comic, actor and writer famously worked with Richard Pryor for decades, serving as a head writer on “The Richard Pryor Show.” He also co-wrote material on several of Pryor’s comedy albums and served as a writer for Pryor’s 1975 appearance on “Saturday Night Live.”

Mooney wrote for series and sitcoms, including “Sanford and Son,” “In Living Color” and “Good Times.” 

He appeared in a number of films, including his portrayal of Sam Cooke in “The Buddy Holly Story” and his roles in “Bamboozled” and “Meet the Blacks.”

The comedic icon memorably played recurring character Negrodamus on “Chappelle’s Show,” where he also served as a writer.

Mooney, who used his comedy to directly confront racism, published a memoir titled “Black Is the New White.”

People on Twitter began mourning Mooney’s death Wednesday, sharing ways the comedian’s work impacted their lives: 

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