Written by | Ray Cornelius

Boyz n the Hood director and 90s urban film pioneer John Singleton has died at the age of 51.

He passed away today after his family took him off life support following a stroke he had on April 17. He was on a flight back to the U.S. from Costa Rica when he experienced weakness in his legs and was admitted into a hospital. It was originally reported that he suffered a “mild” stroke. However, his family would later release a statement that he indeed suffered a “massive” one and that he was also in a coma.

UPFRONT interviewing John Singleton and “Snowfall” star Damson Idris

Singleton made history in 1992 at the age of 24 when he became the youngest person to be nominated for the “Best Director” Oscar and the first African American. He would later go on to direct other classic black films such as Poetic Justice featuring Tupac and Janet Jackson, Higher Learning with Ice Cube and Tyra Banks as well as Baby Boy with Tyrese and Taraji P. Henson, Rosewood and Shaft featuring Samuel L. Jackson.

In addition to film, Singleton also directed projects for television including Fox’s Empire, BET’s Rebel and the hugely popular FX series American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson and Snowfall.

John Singleton at the New Orleans premiere of “Snowfall”

I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Singleton during a promotional tour of American Crime Story at Morehouse College in 2016 and at the 2017 Essence Festival where he was promoting Snowfall with the series star Damson Idris. (Click here to listen at beginning at 18:24)

Check out what Boyz n the Hood star Morris Chestnut had to say about working with Mr. Singleton during a recent interview on TV One’s popular DL Hughley Show:

Photo Credits: RayCornelius.com