Like many African-American men, the Oscar-nominated director and screenwriter John Singleton long struggled with high blood pressure.

Singleton suffered a massive stroke less than two weeks ago, and he died Monday after being removed from life support, his publicist said. He was 51.

African-Americans have the highest prevalence of high blood pressure, a primary risk factor for stroke and heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. 

In a statement, his family urged others to be aware of signs high blood pressure, often described as a silent killer.

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