Sonny Barger was a renowned and respected Hells Angels motorcycle club member. The now late Sonny Barger, born Ralph Hubert Barger, was the man who started the Oakland Hells Angels chapter in California. At only 19 years old, he started the chapter in 1957. Out of all the motorcycle clubs out there, his was one of the first.

After being promoted to the national president one year after founding the Oakland chapter, Barger made the Oakland chapter into the mother club.

A pre-written by Barger was published on his Facebook page. The post announced that Barger had passed away from cancer. Barger said, “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.” He 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.” He was 83 years old.

Since Barger’s post was put up, over 35,000 people have commented expressing their condolences and telling Barger to “rest easy” and “ride in peace.”

Barger has had his life story included in multiple books, including an autobiography, “Hell’s Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.” Aside from TV appearances on Sons of Anarchy, he has also been featured in multiple documentaries.

Barger’s life was often turbulent, marred by several arrests that stacking charges including murder. He was diagnosed with cancer multiple times. He had surgery to remove his vocal cords in 1983 due to throat cancer, and in 2012 he had surgery again, this time to remove his prostate because of prostate cancer.

The video below discusses Barger’s life as well as a personal experience one reporter had with Sonny when she was an infant.

Zorana is Barger’s widow; the couple had been married since 2005.