Famend singer, actor, producer, and legendary civil rights trailblazer Harry Belafonte has died on the age of 96.
His publicist confirmed that the beloved icon died Tuesday of congestive coronary heart failure at his residence in New York.
Along with his kids Adrienne Belafonte Biesemeyer, Shari Belafonte, Gina Belafonte, David Belafonte and two stepchildren Sarah Frank and Lindsey Frank, Belafonte leaves behind eight grandchildren: Rachel Blue Biesemeyer, Brian Biesemeyer, Maria Belafonte McCray, Sarafina Belafonte, Amadeus Belafonte, Mateo Frank, Olive Scanga and Zoe Frank.
Identified globally for each for his inventive ingenuity and humanitarian beliefs, Belafonte turned an early, vocal supporter of the civil rights motion, a confidant of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and monetary backer of numerous historic political and social causes and occasions, together with the anti-Apartheid Motion, equal rights for ladies, juvenile justice, local weather change and the decolonization of Africa.
He was one of many organizers of the 1963 March on Washington and led a delegation of Hollywood luminaries together with his greatest pal Sidney Poitier, in addition to Paul Newman, Sammy Davis Jr., Marlon Brando, Rita Moreno, Tony Curtis, James Baldwin, Burt Lancaster, Joanne Woodward, Diahann Carrol, Bob Dylan, Mahalia Jackson, Peter, Paul and Mary and Joan Baez, Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis and Tony Curtis.
Born to immigrant dad and mom in Harlem on March 1, 1927, Belafonte spent a lot of his youth in Jamaica. Whereas life in Jamaica was tough at occasions, spending time in his mom’s residence nation was filled with cultural experiences that influenced Belafonte’s life, artwork and activism.
Firstly of World Struggle II, Belafonte returned to Harlem along with his mom and brother, however had hassle integrating into the brand new setting, earlier than later dropping out of highschool to hitch the U.S. Navy.
After being honorably discharged, in accordance with TheHistoryMakers.org, Belaftonte went again to New York, the place he labored varied jobs till he acquired two free tickets to the American Negro Theatre (A.N.T.) — a second that modified his life.
Belafonte auditioned for the A.N.T. and earned his first main function in ”Juno and the Paycock.”
Quickly after, his profession took off. He made his movie debut reverse Dorothy Dandridge in “Vibrant Highway,” in 1953 and gained a Tony for his efficiency in “Almanac,” in 1954.
Belafonte’s third album, “Calypso,” topped the charts for 31 consecutive weeks and was the primary report to promote greater than 1 million copies. The multifaceted artist additionally secured a tv outlet along with his hourlong particular, “Tonight with Belafonte,” which gained him an Emmy.
A barrier-breaking expertise and entrepreneur, Belafonte turned the primary African American TV producer and his firm, HarBel, went on to supply multi-Emmy-nominated works.
Within the early Fifties, the artist-turned-activist developed a robust relationship with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Belafonte labored tirelessly to mobilize artists in assist of the civil rights motion.
In 1985, he rallied the worldwide inventive neighborhood to boost consciousness of the famines, wars and droughts plaguing many African nations. His work with United Help of Artists (USA) for Africa raised greater than $60 million, with “We Are the World” and “Fingers Throughout America.”
A longtime anti-apartheid activist, Belafonte hosted former South African President Nelson Mandela on his triumphant go to to the US.
Till his loss of life, Belafonte maintained his dedication to service as a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.