John Singleton, the groundbreaking film director, screenwriter and producer, died Monday in Los Angeles. The “Boyz n the Hood” director suffered a stroke and had been hospitalized for nearly a week. He was 51.
“We are sad to relay that John Singleton has died,” his family said in a statement to ABC News. “John passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends.”
Earlier on Monday, the family had decided to take Singleton off of life support at Cedars, where he had been in the ICU unit since suffering the stroke 13 days earlier. Singleton suffered the stroke while at the hospital and had been “under great medical care.”
“This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors,” the family said in a previous statement. “It is, for us, heartbreaking … We are grateful to his fans, friends and colleagues for the outpouring of love and prayers during this incredibly difficult time.”
A two-time Oscar nominee for writing and directing his debut film Boyz N the Hood(1991), Singleton was a trailblazer in black cinema. He was a benchmark in filmmaking and his voice spoke to an audience with black storytelling that had never been seen or heard. He shined a light on black narratives in the ’90s, adding his pioneering voice to the need for inclusive voices in the industry.
Several friends, collaborators and colleagues posted on social media about the loss.
Born in L.A. on January 6, 1968, Singleton attended Blair High School and went on to Pasadena City College and then to USC School of Cinematic Arts. At first, he was toying with the idea of pursuing computer science, but then he enrolled in USC’s Film Writing Program — and this was the spark that started a career that would cement him as one of the most influential filmmakers of our time.
Singleton is survived by his mother, Sheila, his father, Danny and his six children.