John Singleton's family made the "agonizing decision" to take him off life support, per a statement, and the Oscar-nominated writer and director of Boyz N the Hood died Monday at age 51. He "passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family and friends," the family says in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. Singleton had fallen into a coma after suffering a major stroke. His family said in a statement to Deadline that the decision to take him off life support was made "with the careful counsel of John’s doctors." "Like many African Americans, Singleton quietly struggled with hypertension," the statement notes. "More than 40% of African American men and women have high blood pressure, which also develops earlier in life and is usually more severe. His family wants to share the message with all to please recognize the symptoms by going to Heart.org."
Singleton, who was the first African American to be nominated for a directing Oscar for his iconic debut, went on to direct films including Poetic Justice, Rosewood, Shaft, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Four Brothers; he also worked in television, including co-creating, producing, and directing the FX drama series Snowfall. He grew up in South Central LA and "is a prolific, ground-breaking director who changed the game and opened doors in Hollywood, a world that was just a few miles away, yet worlds away, from the neighborhood in which he grew up," his family's statement reads. "As much as we will treasure his body of work, we were looking forward to the films John would have made in the years ahead." He is survived by his parents as well as children Justice, Maasai, Hadar, Cleopatra, Selenesol, Isis, and Seven. (Singleton weighed in on the "Oscars so white" controversy.)