The actor has been battling colon cancer since 2016 and died at home with his family and wife by his side, according to a statement posted on his Twitter account.
He was 43, his publicist Nicki Fioravante said in a statement.
Although Boseman never spoke publicly about his diagnosis, according the statement, he worked through his treatment for much of his career, starting when he played another Black American icon, NAACP lawyer and future Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, in 2017’s “Marshall” — a year before the premiere of “Black Panther.”
Boseman most recently appeared in the Spike Lee’s Vietnam War drama “Da 5 Bloods,” and this year he’s due to appear opposite Viola Davis “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” a feature adaptation of the August Wilson play, directed by George C. Wolfe.
He was born the youngest of three boys and raised in Anderson, South Carolina, by his mother, who worked as a nurse, and father, who worked in a textile factory. When he was a junior in high school, Boseman wrote and staged a play about the shooting death of a basketball teammate, which turned his life towards the arts. He studied directing at Howard University, where he was mentored by Phylicia Rashad.
After moving to New York, Boseman was a part of the local theater scene, and began landing guest roles on shows like “Law & Order,” “CSI: NY” and “ER,” as well as a series regular part on the NBC mystery “Persons Unknown.” Boseman’s first big break, however, came when he was cast in “42” to play Jackie Robinson, the first Black man to play in Major League Baseball.
Poignantly, Boseman’s death is on the same day as Jackie Robinson Day, MLB’s annual celebration of the pioneering player.