John Singleton, the first African-American filmmaker and the youngest person to receive a Best Director Oscar nomination, died Monday, 29 April at age 51 after suffering a stroke earlier on in the month.
“We are sad to relay that John Singleton has died. John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends,” the family said Monday in a statement. “We want to thank the amazing doctors at Cedars-Sinai Hospital for their expert care and kindness and we again want [to] thank all of John’s fans, friends and colleagues for all of the love and support they showed him during this difficult time,” his family confirmed to The Associated Press.
Singleton had been in a coma since an April 17 stroke he suffered, his mother said in court documents last week while seeking to become a temporary conservator who could make medical and financial decisions on his behalf. Earlier on Monday, his family had decided to take him off life support.
A Los Angeles native, he was best known for his 1991 debut ‘Boyz n the Hood.’ The then-24-year-old earned critical acclaim for his depiction of African Americans in south central Los Angeles, and the film was released just one year after he graduated the University of Southern California’s acclaimed film program.
Subsequently, he went on to direct ‘Shaft’ in 2000, a revival of the 1971 cult classic; ‘2 Fast 2 Furious’ in 2003 and ‘Four Brothers’ in 2005, also helping elevate other black filmmakers and stars. More recently, he directed episodes of several FX shows, including ‘Empire’ and ‘American Crime Story’, as well as BET’s ‘Rebel’ and Showtime’s ‘Billions’. He also created and executive produced FX’s ‘Snowfall’, a series about the crack epidemic in 1980s Los Angeles, with its third season to premiere later in 2019.
Singleton is survived by his parents, Sheila Ward and Danny Singleton, and seven children: Justice, Maasai, Hadar, Cleopatra, Selenesol, Isis and Seven. Singleton’s family said in a statement that he had hypertension, which disproportionately affects African Americans, and that it ‘wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms on time.’