The Rock’s Father, Rocky Johnson Is Dead
Rocky Johnson, a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler and father of American actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has died on Wednesday. He was 75.
The World Wrestling Entertainment issued a statement Wednesday:
“WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky ‘Soul Man’ Johnson, a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, has passed away at age 75.
“In 2008, Johnson achieved the highest honor in sports-entertainment when he was inducted by The Rock into the WWE Hall of Fame where he will be forever enshrined as one of sports-entertainment’s most influential performers.
“WWE extends its condolences to Johnson’s family, friends and fans.”
Rocky Johnson whose birth name is Wayde Douglas Bowles was born in Nova Scotia, Canada in 1944. He was a former professional wrestler and the first African-American World Tag Team Champion in WWE history as a member of The Soul Patrol.
Johnson began his wrestling career at the age of 16 and became a top star in the National Wrestling Alliance in the 1970s. He won multiple regional NWA titles, travelling through the territorial system and wrestling against legends like Harley Race, Terry Funk, and Jerry Lawler.
Johnson retired from wrestling in 1991 and trained his son, Dwayne, to be a wrestler despite initial misgivings. Upon his WWF debut in 1996, Dwayne Johnson took the ring name Rocky Maivia in honor of his wrestling roots before reimagining himself as the Attitude Era heel known famously as The Rock.
In 2008, Rocky John former professional wrestler son was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside Peter Maivia by his son.
Johnson is survived by his sons, Dwayne and Curtis, and his daughter, Wanda. The cause of death is not currently known.