Born into poverty in St Louis, Missouri, Dick Gregory (1932 - 1971) noticed he had a skill for being funny at a young age when making other kids laugh decreased the amount of bullying he was subjected to at school. He went on to become a trailblazing black comedian, the first to talk about race and politics in front of mixed race audiences. Also an activist and writer, he fought for social justice through his cross-country protest runs and hunger strikes. Although an avid smoker for most of his life, he followed a vegetarian diet before it was popular, and even wrote a cookbook, Dick Gregory's Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cooking' with Mother Nature (published 1974).
The Essential Dick Gregory is a good introduction to this unique and determined man, compiled and edited by one of his many children. I think it would be even better to read the unabridged works. For starters, I just may give the cookbook a try.
Read: Dick Gregory's Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin' with Mother Nature