Chadwick Boseman, known to millions as Black Panther, died of cancer Aug. 28 at the age of 43. Boseman portrayed real-life American heroes and legends like Jackie Robinson, James Brown and Thurgood Marshall, but he will forever be remembered for his DIGNIFIED role as a fictional African king and superhero.
Boseman was born Nov. 29, 1976, in Anderson, South Carolina. He graduated from Howard University and started working in television and film. His breakout role was in the movie “42” as baseball legend Robinson. He earned critical acclaim in the film, which showed Robinson’s struggles as the first Black athlete to play on a Major League team. MLB tweeted, “His transcendent performance in ‘42’ will stand the test of time and serve as a powerful vehicle to tell Jackie’s story to audiences for generations to come.”
“Captain America: Civil War” was the debut of Boseman’s Black Panther in the Marvel Studios universe. After learning of his co-star’s death, Chris Evans posted, “Chadwick was special. A true original. He was a deeply committed and constantly curious artist. He had so much amazing work still left to create.”
As King T’Challa, Boseman led a “Black Panther” cast that smashed box office records and won Best Cast in a Motion Picture at the Screen Actors Guild Awards. The crossed-arm salute and rallying cry “Wakanda Forever” became a universal message.
Boseman was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2016, but he kept the news private and continued to work in between surgeries and rounds of chemotherapy. He died at his home near Los Angeles with his wife and family by his side.
Spider-Man actor Tom Holland posted a photo of one of Boseman’s visits to meet a fan in the hospital. Holland wrote, “Chadwick, you were even more of a hero off-screen than on. A role model not only to me on set, but to millions of others around the world. You brought joy and happiness to so many and I’m proud to have been able to call you a friend.”