Gregory Allen Howard, the screenwriter behind Harriet and Remember the Titans, dies at age 70


Gregory Allen Howard, the screenwriter who penned Harriet and Remember the Titans, died in Miami on Friday.

The news was confirmed by his rep Jeff Sanderson, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

It came after Howard battled a brief illness. He was 70-years-old.

Sad loss: Gregory Allen Howard, the screenwriter who penned Harriet and Remember the Titans, died in Miami on Friday

Sad loss: Gregory Allen Howard, the screenwriter who penned Harriet and Remember the Titans, died in Miami on Friday

Howard moved to Los Angeles in the ’90s to chase his dream of becoming a screenwriter.

Originally from Norfolk, Virgina, talented writer gained notoriety in the early 2000s after writing the Denzel Washington-led film Remember the Titans. 

The true story follows Herman Boone, an African American football coach who is tasked with training a high school team during their first racially integrated season of the sport in 1971.

The film earned him the accolade of being the first African American screenwriter to write a $100 million script for a drama, Variety reported.

Dream come true: Howard dreamed of bringing the action-adventure movie Harriet to life for two decades; pictured with the film's star Cynthia Erivo in 2019

Dream come true: Howard dreamed of bringing the action-adventure movie Harriet to life for two decades; pictured with the film’s star Cynthia Erivo in 2019

Howard, who earned a bachelor’s degree in American history from Princeton University, dreamed of bringing the action-adventure movie Harriet to life for two decades.

The idea came to him after he studied the historic figure during his time at Princeton.

The film, which starred Cynthia Erivo, Leslie Odom Jr., and Janelle Monae, earned two Oscar nominations.

In a 2019 Focus Features interview the writer-producer said about the feature, ‘For me, this film is my valentine to Black women. I wanted them to be able to go to the movies on Saturday and see this young Black woman take on this incredible power structure and triumph over it.’

Decorated: During his career he won two NAACP Image Awards, the Howard University Paul Robeson Award for artistic excellence, and Heartland Film Festival Award for screenwriting excellence; pictured in 2001

Decorated: During his career he won two NAACP Image Awards, the Howard University Paul Robeson Award for artistic excellence, and Heartland Film Festival Award for screenwriting excellence; pictured in 2001

How it started: After studying Harriet Tubman at Princeton University, the writer was inspired to pen the screenplay

How it started: After studying Harriet Tubman at Princeton University, the writer was inspired to pen the screenplay

Gregory also earned a writing credit for the movie Ali, which stars Will Smith and Jamie Foxx.

During his career he won two NAACP Image Awards, the Howard University Paul Robeson Award for artistic excellence, and Heartland Film Festival Award for screenwriting excellence.

Howard contributed to the Huffington Post for a long time, writing 2016’s The Biggest Loser and 2017’s The Whitewashing of James Brown

His most recent piece of writing was the civil rights project Power to the People, written for producer Ben Affleck and Paramount Pictures.

At the time of his death Howard was working on a biopic about quarterback Marlin ‘The Magician’ Briscoe, titled The Magician. 

Impressive: Gregory also earned a writing credit for the movie Ali, which stars Will Smith and Jamie Foxx

Impressive: Gregory also earned a writing credit for the movie Ali, which stars Will Smith and Jamie Foxx

He leaves behind sister Lynette Henley and brother Michael Henley, nieces Robyn Bacon and Valencia Kamara, and nephew Robert Henley.

Howard is also survived by a grandniece and two grandnephews, and cousins Pierre Gatling and the Honorable Patricia Cole, reported Deadline.

He was predeceased by siblings Camille Cole Howard and his brother, Ricardo J. Henley 

Breakout: Originally from Norfolk, Virgina, talented writer gained notoriety in the early 2000s after writing the Denzel Washington-led film Remember the Titans

Breakout: Originally from Norfolk, Virgina, talented writer gained notoriety in the early 2000s after writing the Denzel Washington-led film Remember the Titans



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