Barger died of cancer at the age of 83. He was one of the first branches of the motorcycle gang in the 1950s. Thanks to him, the Hells Angels became a large, but also infamous club.
“If you’re reading this, you know I’m gone.” Ralph ‘Sonny’ Barger’s official Facebook page is bringing the news of his death to the world. He has lost his battle with cancer, it says. In the post he looks back with satisfaction on a good life.
The motard founded the Hells Angels department in the American city of Oakland. Under his impulse, all departments of the motorcycle gang were well aligned and the club grew into a worldwide phenomenon. He was also seen as a driving philosophical force for the club. He insisted strongly on the brotherhood and the solidarity among the members.
But that brotherhood among themselves by no means translated into charity towards the outside world. He promoted the rebellious image of the gang. He was not ashamed of facts such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking and violence within the Hells Angels ranks.
The man himself also had a series of facts on his record. His criminal record included convictions for heroin trafficking, kidnapping and possession of explosives intended to blow up the clubhouse of a rival gang. The man does not show regret. He feels that his thirteen years in prison is well commensurate with the pleasure he took from his lifestyle.
Cigarette on the way to the operating table
Barger was known as a heavy drinker and smoker. At the age of 44 he was already diagnosed with a cancer: throat cancer. It was so severe that his vocal cords had to be removed. On the way to the operating table, the biker smoked another cigarette. Since the surgery, Barger had to cover a cannula in order to speak. His voice has been rough and hoarse ever since.
Because of his eccentric image, Barger could count on the attention of popular culture. Movies from the 60s like Hells Angels on Wheels in Hells Angels 1969 could even count on his advice and cooperation. in the series Sons of Anarchy Barger could be seen in the skin of Lenny the Pimp. The motorcycle icon was not only the subject of several books, but also wrote a biography himself: Hell’s Angel: The Bizarre Story of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club.