Sam Greenlee

Writer, Filmmaker Sam Greenlee Dies

The man behind the provocative 'Spook Who Sat by the Door' was 83


by #teamEBONY, May 19, 2014

Sam Greenlee

Sam Greenlee

Photo courtesy of

Vagabond Beaumont/Flickr

Author Sam Greenlee, best know for his seminal The Spook Who Sat by the Door, reportedly passed away at his Chicago home this morning. Pemon Remi, a longtime mentee of Greenlee's and Director of Educational Services and Public Programs at Chicago's DuSable Museum, tells that the 83-year-old had been in and out of the hospital for the past two years.

A veteran, he published The Spook in 1969; the story of a CIA agent who uses his training to turn a Chicago street gang into a Black guerrilla army was made into a film in 1973.

Greenlee is survived by his wife, Maxine, daughter Matika and granddaughter, Nailah.



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