John Singleton Dies; Beloved Director Was 51

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Very sad news today out of Hollywood.

John Singleton, the Academy Award-nominated director and veteran of the entertainment industry, has passed away 12 days after suffering a stroke.

He was 51 years old.

John Singleton Image

As previously reported, Singleton checked himself into the hospital in mid-April after suffering leg pain following a trip to Costa Rica.

He then suffered a stroke a short while later while under doctor's supervision.

He had been in a medically-induced coma ever since, with his family announcing on Monday afternoon that it had made the impossible decision to remove the director from life support.

“It is with heavy hearts we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton will be taken off of life support today,” a statement from the Singleton family read.

“This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”

John Singleton

The statement went on to reference Singleton's breakout film, for which he became the first African-American ever nominated at the Oscars for Best Director.

John grew up in South Central L.A with a love of cinema that showed itself early on. He went on to become one of the most lauded graduates of the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

Within months of graduating, John returned to South Central to shoot his debut feature, Boyz N the Hood.

The movie, which was unusually shot in sequence, masterfully captured a story of friendship, youth and the peril of hard choices in a community marred by gang violence.

Singleton also directed such movies as Poetic Justice, Four Brothers and 2 Fast 2 Furious.

More recently, he had moved over to television and helped produce the FX drama Snowfall.

John Singleton Picture

But it was Boyz N the Hood that truly put Singleton on the Hollywood map.

"The film earned special honors at its debut at Cannes and Singleton went onto become the youngest director and first African-American writer-director nominated for the Academy Award," the statement continued.

"Two decades later, the film was placed in the Library of Congress, a marker of its cultural and historical significance."

Continues this statement:

"John was such a supernova in his youth that we forget that he was only beginning to fully assert his gifts as a director. Kurosawa was 52 when he directed High Low. Hitchcock was 56 when he directed To Catch a Thief.

"As much as we will treasure his body of work, we were looking forward to the films John would have made in the years ahead."

John Singleton Photo

Singleton's loved ones went on to cite the star's hypertension diagnosis, an affliction that affects 40% of African-Americans.

They urged everyone to visit Heart.org in order to learn more about this disease and its symptoms.

"John’s confidence in his place in Hollywood was only matched for his passion for the sea," concludes the statement.

"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."

John Singleton Pic

Singleton is survived by his mother, Shelia, and his seven children:

Daughters Justice, Hadar, Cleopatra, Selenesol, Issis, and his sons Maasai and Seven.

May he rest in eternal peace.

UPDATE: The family has released this statement since taking Singleton off life support and watching him pass away.

It is with heavy hearts that we announce that our beloved son, father and friend, John Daniel Singleton passed away today due to complications from a stroke he suffered last Wednesday.

John Singleton was a prolific, groundbreaking director who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighborhood in which he grew up.

single statement

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.

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 on his boat, J’s Dream, up and down the Pacific Coast.

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