The death of renowned director john singleton cause of death has sparked an outpouring of grief from celebs and fans alike. Singleton was hospitalized less than two weeks ago with a stroke, and was taken off life support on Monday. He was just 51 years old. Singleton was a trailblazer in the film industry, bringing attention to black lives and paving the way for others to get behind the camera.
The Oscar-nominated filmmaker had long struggled with high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for stroke and other cardiovascular disease. His family released a statement urging people to learn the warning signs of a stroke, which include: difficulty speaking or understanding another person; sudden weakness or loss of balance; or numbness or paralysis in the face, arm or leg. They also noted that African Americans have the highest rate of high blood pressure, which is known as a “silent killer” because it often has no symptoms.
During his lifetime, Singleton directed a wide variety of films and TV shows, including the critically acclaimed remake of Shaft, the historical drama Rosewood, the action film 2 Fast 2 Furious, and the FX series Snowfall, which tells the story of the birth of crack cocaine in L.A., and its radical impact on the city and culture as we know it. He was also an early champion of new talent, signing young music stars like Ice Cube and Tupac Shakur to his New Deal Entertainment production company in the 1990s.
The bleakly realistic film Boyz n the Hood, about three teens growing up amid drugs, gangs and violence in South Central Los Angeles, was a breakout hit that established Singleton as one of the youngest and first African American directors to win an Oscar nomination. He was just 24 when he won the nod, which he shared with an original screenplay. The movie’s influence was widespread, and it even prompted Singleton to testify before a Senate subcommittee in 1992 about the issue of youth violence.
Despite his health struggles, Singleton continued to push for greater diversity in Hollywood throughout his career. Actor Gabrielle Union called him a mentor and true friend in a moving Instagram post Monday, while fellow director Ava DuVernay praised him for paving the way for black directors.
Singleton‘s death comes just a month after the death of ‘Beverly Hills 90210’ heartthrob Luke Perry, who died at 52 from complications of a stroke. The two deaths serve as a reminder to people of all ages to learn the warning signs and seek immediate medical help if they think they’re experiencing symptoms of a stroke, which can include numbness or loss of balance; sudden difficulty speaking or understanding someone; and headache. Those who experience these symptoms should call 911 immediately. For more information about how to prevent a stroke, visit the CDC’s website. You can also find tips from the CDC’s Healthy People 2020 campaign. This article was updated on April 30.