Stanford University has established a new website called Richard Pryor’s Peoria, which is a companion site to the new book Becoming Richard Pryor by Scott Saul (Harper, 2014). Saul is an associate professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. But he did much of the research for the book and website while a fellow at the Stanford Humanities Center.
The site contains a large number of photographs and documents that deal with the comedian’s early years while growing up in racially segregated Peoria, Illinois.
Pryor was born in 1940 and grew up in a brothel run by his grandmother, in which his father worked as a pimp and his mother as a prostitute. He dropped out of school at the age of 14.
Pryor became one the most well-regard comedians of his generation. He won an Emmy Award and five Grammy Awards.
Richard Pryor died in 2005 at the age of 65. He had suffered from multiple sclerosis.