Sonny Barger, founding member of the Hells Angels, dies at 83 from liver cancer | Entertainment
Sonny Barger, founding member of the Hells Angels, died at the age of 83 from liver cancer.
The biker, writer, self-proclaimed outlaw and ‘Sons of Anarchy’ actor died on Wednesday (6/29/22) surrounded by his fourth wife, Zorana, and other loved ones.
In a Facebook post, posted after his death, Barger said, “If you read this post, you’ll know I’m gone. I requested that this note be posted immediately after my death.
He continued in the post, “I have lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I had the privilege of being part of an incredible club.
“Although I had a public figure for decades, I mostly enjoyed special times with my club brothers, family and close friends.
“Keep your head up, stay loyal, stay free and always enjoy honor.”
Real name Ralph Hubert Barger, he said in his memoir that the Hells Angels were just a small club in San Francisco before he came on board.
He created the Oakland Hells Angels in California, the motorcycle club’s most prominent “charter”, and is credited with turning it into a globally recognized gang.
Barger defended the group despite accusations from several authorities of being a criminal organization.
One of its biggest controversies involved a Rolling Stones fan fatally stabbed by a member during the band’s free concert at Altamont in 1969.
Barger’s former lawyer, Fritz Clapp, confirmed on Thursday (30.06.22) that Barger died at home of stage four liver cancer.
He said, “He had lived a long time and he had been sick for a while. Everyone around him had pretty much been emotionally prepared for it.
Barger’s run-ins with the law included his acquittal with three others in 1972 of the murder of a drug dealer in Texas and the burning down of a house.
His criminal record also included arrests for drunk driving, assault with deadly weapons, kidnapping, drug trafficking and racketeering, and he was imprisoned for drug trafficking and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
Barger was diagnosed with throat cancer in the 1980s after years of heavy smoking and underwent surgery to have his vocal cords removed.
This prompted him to launch an anti-tobacco campaign under the message: “Do you want to be a rebel? Don’t smoke like the rest of the world.
His books included Barger’s autobiography “Hell’s Angel”, as well as the motorcycling guide “Let’s Ride”.
It features prominently in the book “Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs” by gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson, as well as in “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” by Tom Wolfe, published in 1968.
Barger, who played Lenny ‘The Pimp’ Janowitz on ‘Sons of Anarchy’ underwent surgery for prostate cancer in 2012 which resulted in his prostate being removed and he was declared cancer free until that the disease is detected in his liver.