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Google celebrates Native American comedian Charlie Hill with a Doodle

July 6 (UPI) -- Google is celebrating what would be Native American comedian Charlie Hill's 71st birthday with a Doodle.

Born on this day in 1951 in Detroit, Hill became the first Native American stand-up comedian to appear on television. Hill had Oneida, Mohawk and Cree heritage. He moved to the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin's reservation when he was 11 years old and often spent weekends watching comedy specials with his family.

Hill was inspired by Dick Gregory, who combined activism and comedy to support the Native American civil rights movement, and set on a similar path. He started by majoring in speech and drama at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Through the years, Hill lived and performed in New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles. He was also a musician and would play harmonica during performances.

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Hill started becoming better known in the 1970s, after performing at the Comedy Store in Hollywood and his first television appearance was in 1977, on The Richard Prior Show. When the writers asked Hill to portray a negative Native stereotype on the show, he refused.

After Prior, he performed on Late Show with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and appeared on Roseanne and Moesha. The stand-up comedian went on to tour the world and won several awards.

Wednesday's Google Doodle was illustrated by French-First Nations artist from Oneida Nation of the Thames, Alanah Astehsi Otsistohkwa (Morningstar) Jewell. It features Hill holding a microphone, with an eagle, microphone, book and a harmonica floating by.

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