"The Richard Pryor Only I Knew"
I weighed two pounds, three ounces. The doctor who examined me told my mother, "Congratulations, Mrs. Pryor, you have a boy! No, wait, it's a girl! No, it is a boy!"
Mom cried, "What did I have? A freak?"
Yes and No.
My freakish life parallels my father's in many ways: a Peoria whorehouse, abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, and frequent bad decisions.
But I survived. And that's what my book is about, a real life story of overcoming obstacles, surviving and thriving. - Richard Pryor Jr.
"When I was older, Dad confided that had he known how famous he would become, he never would have named me after himself. He understood that anyone I would ever meet in life, I could never be certain if it was me they were attracted to or if they just wanted to bask in the second-hand aura of my dad. He also knew what I would discover eventually: that there were mean ruthless people out there who would try to use and manipulate me to get close to him. Profound words from the world’s most famous comedian."
"Two weeks after I was born, my weight reached five pounds and the hospital released me. Meanwhile, my parents were so poor that Dad couldn’t even afford a notebook. He used to scribble his jokes down on the paper liners from wire coat hangers Grandpa Fox got from the dry cleaner. Fox bugged Dad non-stop to get a job. One time, he sat him down and made him fill out an employment application for St. Francis Hospital, where Grandpa worked. Dad listed his job experience as “bartender.” That was because he spent a lot of time in bars and clubs, where he could perform five minutes of comedy or sing with the band in exchange for drinks and a few dollars."