Director John Singleton Dead at 51

"Boyz N The Hood" director was first African-American and youngest person to be nominated for the Oscar for Best Director

John Singleton in 1991 (Pool ARNAL/GARCIA/PICOT / Contributor)
John Singleton in 1991 (Pool ARNAL/GARCIA/PICOT / Contributor)
Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

John Singleton, the first African American and youngest person to have ever been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, has died at the age of 51. The Los Angeles native who shot to fame in the 1990s with films like Boyz n the Hood, Poetic Justice and Higher Learning, had been put on life support after suffering a stoke on April 17 after returning from a trip.

Singleton, who along with directors like Spike Lee and the Hughes brothers, helped push African-American stories in front of more mainstream audiences in the 1980s and ’90s, was a triple threat in the movie industry, also serving as producer and writer of some of his films, including the 2000 remake of Shaft. In the 21st century, he signed on to direct the second installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise, 2 Fast 2 Furious. After that, he turned his attention to television, directing an episode of the show Empire, as well as an episode of award-winning The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story anthology. He also served as the producer and director of the BET drama Rebel, as well as the creator and director FX crime drama Snowfall.

While there was some initial confusion as to whether Singleton had passed away or not early on Monday morning, by afternoon the news was confirmed by a spokesperson for Singleton’s family that the director was being taken off of 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 to Deadline read. “This was an agonizing decision, one that our family made, over a number of days, with the careful counsel of John’s doctors.”

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.