91st Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals

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Hours after being taken off life support, film director John Singleton died on Monday. He was only 51-years-old.

According to Deadline, his family released a statement confirming the news.

“In his private life, John was a loving and supporting father, son, brother, and friend who believed in higher education, black culture, old school music and the power of film,” the family statement said.

They added:  “John’s confidence in his place in Hollywood was only matched for his passion for the sea. John kayaked in Marina Del Rey every morning. His greatest joy, when not on set, was sailing his boat, J’s Dream, up and down the Pacific Coast. The American writer Willa Cather once said, ‘There are some things you learn best in calm, and some in the storm.’ We who have grown up with John, made movies with him, sailed with John and laughed with John, know the universe of calm and creativity he created for so many. Now in the wake of his death, we must navigate the storm without him. It is, for us, heartbreaking.”

According to the statement, Singleton “quietly struggled wth heart disease” over the years.

“Like many African Americans, Singleton quietly struggled with hypertension. More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms by going to Heart.org.”

As we previously reported, Singleton suffered a stroke in the hospital on April 17 after experiencing leg pain after a flight home from Costa Rica. He was in the ICU and later fell into a coma.

While it had been reported that he died early Monday morning, his family refuted those reports, releasing a statement in the morning that while he was still alive, they decided to take the filmmaker off of life support.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off life support today. This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors,” they said in a statement.

Singleton is survived by his mother, ex-wife and his 7 children.

In 1992, Singleton made history as the youngest person and the first African-American director to be nominated for Best Director at the Academy Awards for “Boyz In The Hood.” The USC grad was just 24-years-old at the time.

Singleton single-handedly created a genre of Black films that focused solely on African-America life in urban America and tackled the complexities of racism, police brutality and poverty. He was inspired by the likes of Spike Lee, but also inspired a new generation of Black filmmakers, myself included.

Through out Singleton’s illustrious career he helmed other films including the Black classic “Poetic Justice,” “Higher Learning,” “Rosewood,” “2 Fast 2 Furious” and the 2000 remake of “Shaft.” He also co-created the FX drama “Snowfall,” which was renewed last year for a third season. In addition, he directed television episodes from shows such as “Empire,” “Billions” and “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.”

 

Black Twitter came together to celebrate Singleton’s life, his body of work and send condolences to his family.

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