O’Neal’s booking agent, Matthew Frost, said in a statement that the comedian died Tuesday morning from complications of the stroke he suffered in October:
“Many of us have lost a close and loved friend; all of us have lost a true comic genius. His mother, who was also his best friend, was at his side. Patrice is survived by his wife, Vondecarlo; his step daughter Aymilyon, sister Zinder, and his mother Georgia. The family wishes to thank all of the fans and friends who have expressed an outpouring of love and support for Patrice these past weeks. We ask that you please respect the family’s request for privacy at this difficult time.”
Gregg Hughes of the radio show “Opie & Anthony” first tweeted the news Tuesday: “Yes it’s true that our pal Patrice O'Neal has passed away. The funniest and best thinker i've ever known PERIOD. #devastated.”
O’Neal’s friend, comedian Jim Norton, announced news of the stroke on “Opie & Anthony” in late October.
“I couldn't possibly love a friend more than I love you,” Norton tweeted Tuesday. “Goodbye brother.”
O’Neal made his final TV appearance on the Comedy Central roast of Charlie Sheen in September. Sheen tweeted his condolences, saying he “will forever be inspired by [O’Neal’s] nobility, his grace and his epic talent.”
Read more reactions over at The Root DC Live.
This post has been updated.