Sonny Barger, Hell’s Angels Founder, Sons of Anarchy Actor, Dead at 83

Sonny Barger, the Hells Angels founder and Sons of Anarchy actor, died Wednesday of cancer, per Deadline. He was 83.

Barger actually announced that his death was looming in a Facebook post.

“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,” he wrote.

“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”

Barger became the face of Hells Angels after serving as a founder member of the organization’s Oakland chapter. He was also among the bikers who provided security at the at the infamous 1969 Rolling Stones Altamont concert, which became bloody and violent.

Per Deadline:

“Barger had written six books, including his autobiography Hell’s Angel — The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club, in which he put the blame for the disastrous Altamont concert squarely on the Stones. The Angels had been hired by the band to provide security, a decision the Stones would regret: The bikers beat audience members with billiard sticks, punched and knocked out Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin and attacked (in self-defense, they claimed) a pistol-wielding 18-year-old Stones fan named Meredith Hunter. One of the Angels stabbed and killed Hunter but was acquitted after claiming self-defense.”

There’s more.

“Barger also tangled with the law over the years,” Deadline wrote. “He was acquitted in the 1972 murder of a drug dealer but convicted in 1973 and 1988 on narcotics and weapons charges and serving about four years for each conviction.”

Along with all that, he still managed to appear in multiple movies and documentaries, including serving as a consulting producer on Sons of Anarchy, offering tips on biker culture.

He was was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1983 and prostate cancer in 2010, though it remains unclear what type of cancer caused his death.

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  1. R.I.P Uncle Sonny. I will always remember and carry with me the values, loyalty and respect that you have taught me. You were a amazing man and had the biggest heart. Thank you for always being there for my mother, Portland Bambi, when she had no one else. We will miss you more than I can even begin to explain. We will never forget you! 😭 We love you!

  2. RIP Sonny. When will they ever admit that Meridieth Hunter had a gun at Altamont in 1969 and the Angel came with a knife, and won. I will forever be annoyed by the political correctness of this event.

  3. He was most certainly familiar with my hometown. I was born in the seat of the H A Club in Fontana California. Ask Time Magazine if you don’t believe me, they put our bad reputation right on their cover as our only claim to fame. Now they have to include Sammy Hagar. It was the WWII mustering out pay that bought their hogs with. My parents were stoners and knew several partial of full members, Some of their front teeth were rotted out from Crosstop Bennies speed that went all over in the day. We once stopped by an Oakland Angel’s house for an afternoon of them partying. Their kids in my generation had a lot of speed and reds, heroin and all that radical stuff and lucky for me I got out of Fontana before delving into those drugs. It was for sure a radical home town that many have not survived and I flew over that cuckoos nest.

  4. I no we Sonny at a church in Habersham county GA. HE VISITED US OFTEN I WAS THE PREACHER TO THE INMATES FOR 7 years

  5. RIP
    Our family will never forget you and what you showed us and how to stand for what we believe in. We will miss you always and pray for those that you left behind! You have been such a huge part of so many and we won’t ever forget you 🤍

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