Rocky Johnson, Wrestling Legend And Father To Dwayne Johnson, Dies At 75

Rocky Johnson, Wrestling Legend And Father To Dwayne Johnson, Dies At 75

By Wires | The Trent on January 16, 2020
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Rocky johnson
Dwayne Johnson pictured with is iconic father, Rocky Johnson (left) | JIM SMEAL/BEI/SHUTTERSTOCK

Dwayne Johnson‘s father, the Canadian professional wrestler Rocky Johnson, is dead. He was 75.

World Wrestling Entertainment confirmed the news on their website, writing, “WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has passed away at age 75.”

Rocky Johnson pictured during his professional career with WWE
Rocky Johnson pictured during his professional career with WWE

A rep for the actor did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Johnson, born and raised in Nova Scotia, began his career in the mid 1960s at the age of 16as part of the National Wrestling Alliance. He quickly went on to become the first African American to win the Southern, Georgia and Florida heavyweight titles before starting his wrestling career with WWE in 1983 and began wrestling with Tony Atlas.

The two became a part of the first African American tag team — known as The Soul Patrol — to win the World Tag Team Championship in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). The wrestler had several memorable rivalries with competitors like Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Adrian Adonis, and Don Muraco.

Rocky retired from the WWE in 1991, and began training his son to become a wrestler. Dwayne took on the name “The Rock” — whose iconic moniker was inspired by his father’s name — and continued his father’s legacy, becoming one of the most celebrated wrestlers in the history of the sport.

In 2008, Rocky was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. He is survived by three children — Dwayne, as well as his son, Curtis, and daughter, Wanda.

Numerous wrestlers have shared their condolences on Twitter.

“I am so sorry to hear of the passing of the great Rocky Johnson,” Mick Foley wrote. “Always a gentleman, I always enjoyed talking with him. My deepest condolences to his family, friends, and the fans who loved him. A very sad day for wrestling.”

Hattip to People, Variety

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