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Richard Pryor Facts

Richard Pryor: The Meteoric Rise and Challenging Life of a Legendary Comedian

Early Life

Richard Pryor was born on December 1, 1940, in Peoria, Illinois. He was raised in his grandmother’s brothel, where his mother worked as a prostitute. Pryor was sexually abused both by a man and a woman in the brothel when he was just six years old. Eventually, his mother relocated to St. Louis, Missouri, when he was ten years old.


Richard Pryor’s career started when he began performing stand-up comedy in clubs and venues around the United States. He quickly became one of the most popular stand-up comedians of his time due to his wit, charisma, and hilarious storytelling. He was also an actor, starring in movies such as Stir Crazy, Superman III, and Silver Streak. His role in the movie “Lady Sings the Blues” earned him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor at the Academy Awards.

Pryor was famous for his raw and provocative style of humor that tackled controversial topics such as racism, drug addiction, and police brutality. He was known for his ability to turn personal experiences into hilarious and thought-provoking comedy.

Personal Life

Richard Pryor was married seven times to five different women. He had many relationships throughout his life, including some with high-profile personalities such as actress Pam Grier. Pryor had seven children, including Richard Pryor Jr., Elizabeth Pryor, and Rain Pryor.


Richard Pryor struggled with drug addiction and alcoholism for much of his adult life. He was known for his cocaine addiction, which he finally conquered in the late 1980s after several trips to rehab. Pryor was also diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986, which ultimately led to his retirement from stand-up comedy.


Richard Pryor stood at a height of 5 feet 10 inches, or 178 cm.

Top Songs

Although Richard Pryor was not known for his music, he recorded several albums featuring his stand-up comedy routines. Some of his most popular albums include “That Nigger’s Crazy,” “Bicentennial Nigger,” and “Live on the Sunset Strip.” The album “That Nigger’s Crazy” won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Recording in 1974.

Net Worth

Richard Pryor’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be around $40 million. However, during his lifetime, he struggled with financial problems due to his extravagant lifestyle and numerous marriages.


Richard Pryor’s contributions to comedy are immeasurable and have influenced generations of comedians. His honesty, vulnerability, and fearlessness on stage paved the way for the likes of Dave Chappelle, Eddie Murphy, and Chris Rock. His impact on American culture was so significant that he was awarded the first-ever Mark Twain Prize for American Humor in 1998.


“Richard Pryor was the Picasso of our profession.”

– Chris Rock

“He was so ahead of his time; it was crazy. He had the ability to say everything that he said in that era, and he would still be relevant today.”

– Kevin Hart

“The thing that was amazing about Richard Pryor is that he had no hope, and yet he was able to light people up.”

– Jerry Seinfeld


Richard Pryor’s tragic and triumphant life is inspiring to many, and his influence on the world of comedy is immeasurable. His impact on American culture lives on, and his legacy will continue to be celebrated for generations to come. Richard Pryor was not just a comedian; he was a trailblazer, a visionary, and a true artist.

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