Sonny Barger, the founder of Oakland Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, died at 83.
Before his passing, he wrote a message to announce his death, published on Facebook on Thursday, June 30.
“If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing. I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club. Although I’ve had a public persona for decades, I’ve mostly enjoyed special time with my club brothers, my family, and close friends.”
Barger continued, “Please know that I passed peacefully after a brief battle with cancer. But also know that in the end, I was surrounded by what really matters: My wife, Zorana, as well as my loved ones. Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor. – Sonny.”
After becoming the face of the Oakland, California chapter of the Hells Angels in 1957, Barger became notorious for dealing with many legal issues. Throughout his life, he wrote several books, including Hell’s Angel, and appeared on Sons of Anarchy as Lenny Janowitz for the season 3 finale.
Barger was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1983, resulting in his vocal cords being removed. In 2010, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and had his prostate removed in 2012. At this time, it’s unclear which form of cancer he battled in his last days.