Hells Angels founder Sonny Barger has died aged 83 after a battle with cancer, according to a statement on social media and his former lawyer.
A statement on Barger’s Facebook page mentions his death.
His former attorney, Fritz Clapp, told NBC News in a Thursday phone call that he died peacefully at his home Wednesday night following a battle with liver cancer.
The statement on his Facebook page says he lived a long and adventurous life and is survived by his wife, Zorana.
“If you read this message, you will know that I am gone. I have requested that this note be released immediately upon my passing,” the statement read. “I have lived a long and beautiful life filled with adventures. 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. Please know that I passed away 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. Hold your head up high, stay loyal, stay free and always enjoy honor.”
The post ended with Barger signing off as Sonny and noting HAMCO, an acronym for Hells Angels Motorcycle Club Oakland.
Barger was born Ralph Hubert Barger Jr. in Modesto, California. He formed the Hells Angels in 1957 in Oakland. He was also a technical consultant for Hells Angels films, including “Hell’s Angels on Wheels” and “Hell’s Angels ’69”, films in which he appeared.
Barger’s book “Hell’s Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club” details his life and experiences with the notorious club. In it, he shed light on the history and evolution of the Hells Angels and included stories about their run-ins with the law.
Barger also wrote “Credos from the Road” and co-wrote “Ridin’ High, Livin’ Free: Hell-raising Motorcycle Stories”.
Helen Kwong contributed.