Hells Angeles chieftain Ralph "Sonny" Barger and his wife Sharon are shown after his release $100,000 bond in San Francisco on Aug. 1, 1980. Barger has died at 83 after a ”brief battle” with cancer, a statement on his official Facebook page on Thursday, June 30, 2022, said.
Sonny Barger, founder of Hells Angels, has died at 83.
The iconic biker’s death, reportedly caused by a”brief battle” with cancer, was
announced in a statement on his official Facebook page Thursday morning.
“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.”
Ralph “Sonny” Barger was born in Modesto, Calif., on Oct. 8, 1938, according to an interview
on his official website.
In 1957, Barger founded the Oakland, Calif., Angels chapter and became a legendary public face of the organization.
The Hells Angels, including Barger, faced numerous federal investigations on criminal enterprise and racketeering offenses throughout the years.
Ralph "Sonny" Barger, president of the Oakland chapter of the Hell's Angels, reads a statement during a news conference in Oakland, Ca., Nov. 19, 1965. Barger announced they will not show up for the Vietnam Day Committee's march on the Oakland Army Terminal, Saturday. The members of the Oakland Hell's Angels chapter from left are, Cliff Workman, treasurer; Barger; Tiny Walter, sergeant at arms; Ron Jacobson, secretary; and Tom Thomas, vice president, seated far right. Ralph "Sonny" Barger, left, the founder and president of the Oakland, Calif., Hells Angels chapter, is led to a waiting van by a U.S. marshal after being arraigned on an explosives charge at the Federal Building in San Francisco, Nov. 10, 1987. Hells Angels in five states were arrested on drugs and weapons charges.
Barger was convicted in 1988 of conspiracy to kill rival club members and blow up their headquarters,
The Associated Press reported at the time.
He served five years in federal prison for the charge,
according to The Washington Post.
Barger was surrounded by loved ones when he died, including his wife, Zorana, according to the statement.
Aside from riding motorcycles, Barger enjoyed riding and taking care of horses as well,
he said in interview.
“I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club.” “Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor.”
Sonny Barger, founder of the Oakland, California charter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, attends a party August 23, 2003 in Quincy, Illinois. The party was hosted by the Midwest Percenters motorcycle club in Quincy. Sonny Barger, founder of the Oakland, California charter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, autographs the artificial leg of Kenny Little during an event at a Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership August 23, 2003 in Quincy, Illinois. Little lost his leg when his motorcycle was hit by a drunk driver in 1986. Members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, with wives and friends, order dinner at a restaurant August 23, 2003 in Quincy, Illinois. The motorcycle club was in Quincy for a book signing event and party honoring Sonny Barger (2nd-R/back to camera), founder of the Oakland, California charter of the Hells Angels. Sonny Barger, founder of the Oakland, California charter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club, autographs a copy of Post magazine during an event at a Harley-Davidson motorcycle dealership August 23, 2003 in Quincy, Illinois. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: See Hells Angels leader Sonny Barger through the years