Rocky Johnson, the former professional wrestler and father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, died on Wednesday at the age of 75. His death was confirmed by the WWE, but the reason of death was not reported.
Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson, whose real name is Wade Douglas Bowles, became popular in the 1980s when he entered the WWE world.
The physically imposing and wildly charismatic Johnson had several memorable rivalries with the likes of Greg “The Hammer” Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis. He found his greatest success when he teamed up with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol. The two men became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history when they defeated The Wild Samoans on Dec. 10, 1983.
He retired in 1991 but his legacy was continued by his son Dwayne, a.k.a. The Rock, who went on to become one of the most iconic faces in the WWE and one of the most popular Hollywood actors of today
Rocky Johnson was born on August 24, 1944, and grew up in Canada. He began his sports career in the boxing ring before transitioning to the sports entertainment world of wrestling in the 1960s, according to his WWE biography. He competed all over the world against other wrestling superstars including; Adrian Adonis, Mr. Fuji and Don Muraco.
As a boxer in his teens and had several sparring sessions with Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. However, he chose wrestling as his profession
“He’s a weathered soul and like all weathered souls, there’s often a harsh storied path that got them there,” Dwanye Johnson posted on Instagram last year when he shared the news he told his dad he was buying him a house.
“Well for my pops that path started at 13yrs old when his mom kicked him out of his house on Christmas day and forced him to live on the streets … so his reality of compassion and love was forged thru pain and toughness.”
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) January 16, 2020
Our condolences to the family and friends of Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson. May he rest in peace.