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How Did Harry Belafonte Die? Harry Belafonte Cause Of Death?

Harry Belafonte
Source: CNN

With his song “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song),” actor, activist, and musician Harry Belafonte helped spread the Calypso sound to a wider audience. He was 96. On Tuesday, his spokesman confirmed to ABC News that Belafonte passed away at home in New York from congestive heart failure with his wife Pamela at his side.

Belafonte spent his early years bouncing between Jamaica and the Black capital of Harlem, where he was born on March 1, 1927. After finishing high school, he enlisted in the Navy and served his country throughout World War II. His life was altered by the work he took as a janitorial helper. One of his tenants gave him tickets to the American Negro Theater, and that’s where he met the late Sidney Poitier and realized he wanted to be an actor.


In order to fund his acting education at the Dramatic Workshop, now known as The New School, he worked as a club singer and attended performances in the area with his mentor Sidney Poitier. His success as a musician followed.

After making his debut at New York City’s legendary Village Vanguard jazz club, Belafonte signed with Roost as a pop singer before eventually moving to RCA Victor. Songs like “Jamaica Farewell” and “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” helped his third studio album, “Calypso,” stay at the top of the charts for an impressive 31 weeks.

Harry Belafonte Cause of death

Former “King of Calypso” and longtime civil rights leader Harry Belafonte has passed away at age 90. He was 96. Paula Witt, Belafonte’s spokeswoman, stated in a statement that he passed away at his New York residence from congestive heart disease.

As a singer, pianist, and actor, Belafonte will go down in history as a major cultural figure of the 20th century. His anti-apartheid efforts in the 1980s and his civil rights work in the 1960s will be remembered for decades.

I didn’t start out as an artist and then decide to get involved in politics. Belafonte talked about his experiences as both an activist and an artist in his memoir published in 2011. My mother instilled in me a lifelong commitment to combating injustice in any form it took.

Who was Harry Belafonte?

Harry Belafonte, who was born to Jamaican parents in Harlem on March 1, 1927, spent much of his childhood there. Despite the challenges, Belafonte’s time in Jamaica provided him with a wealth of cultural experiences that informed his work.

Belafonte moved back to Harlem with his mom and brother at the outbreak of WWII. He struggled to adapt to his new surroundings, and eventually he enrolled in the United States Naval Academy instead of finishing high school. After being honorably discharged from the military, Belafonte returned to New York and did odd jobs until two complimentary tickets to the American Negro Theatre (A.N.T.) transformed his life forever.

After trying out for the A.N.T., Belafonte landed the lead in Juno and the Paycock. In the film Bright Road, starring alongside Dorothy Dandridge, he made his first appearance in 1953. In 1954, for his role in Almanac, he was awarded a Tony Award. While doing so, Belafonte honed his vocal skills and eventually signed a record deal thanks to his success in the club circuit. Calypso, his third album, was the first record to sell over a million copies and stayed at the top of the charts for thirty-one straight weeks. With his Emmy-winning one-hour special Tonight with Belafonte, he also found a home on television. His business, HarBel, produced the first African-American candidate for an Emmy in television production.

Relation with Martin Luther Jr

In the early 1950s, Belafonte and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. were close friends. Belafonte spared no effort when it came to rallying musicians in support of the civil rights struggle. Again, in 1985, he mobilized artists worldwide to bring attention to the famines, conflicts, and droughts affecting so many African countries. With the help of “We Are the World” and “Hands Across America,” USA for Africa was able to raise almost $60 million for Africa. Belafonte, a lifelong anti-apartheid campaigner, played host to Nelson Mandela on the latter’s victorious visit to the United States. Belafonte has continued to serve as a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF.

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