Statue erected to Richard Pryor | Nine years in the making...

Statue erected to Richard Pryor

Nine years in the making...

A statue of Richard Pryor has finally been unveiled in his home town of Peoria.

Sculptor Preston Jackson has spent nine years raising funds for the tribute – and overcoming objectors who felt it inappropriate to honour a drug-taking, foul-mouthed comedian.

But yesterday he unveiled the nine-foot statue, after finally getting permission from the Illinois city – and the money from a benefit gig organised by comic George Lopez.

Pryor was born in the Illinois ciy in December 1940, growing up in his grandmother’s brothel where his mother worked as a prostitute, until she abandoned him when he was 10. He was then brought up bights grandmother.

Jackson told the city’s Journal Star newspaper that creating the statue helped him understand Pryor.

‘If a human being doesn’t have any comfort and love, they will turn bad,’ he said.

Pryor died in December 2005 in Los Angeles, aged 65.

Here’s footage of the statue being put in place:

Published: 3 May 2015

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