The man behind one of the most iconic horror movies of all time has passed away at 77

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George A. Romero, known for launching the zombie genre into the mainstream with his classic “Night of the Living Dead,” has passed away in his sleep, following a “a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer,” according to his longtime associate Peter Gunwald.

The LA Times reported that Romero died listening to the score from “The Quiet Man” and was accompanied by his wife Suzanne and daughter Tina.

Director and writer George Romero poses for a photograph while talking about his film “Diary of the Dead’ at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, on Monday, Jan. 21, 2008. Romero shot the first of his five zombie films, ‘Night of the Living Dead’, nearly four decades ago. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

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“Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday July 16, listening to the score of ‘The Quiet Man,’ one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero at his side,” Romero’s manager Chris Roe said in a statement, according to Variety. “He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time.”

Romero was 77.

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