Dwyane Johnson’s Father, Rocky Johnson, Passes Away At 75

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Dwayne Johnson’s father, professional wrestler Rocky Johnson, has suddenly passed. He was 75 years old.

The World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) confirmed the news of his passing on their website, writing, “WWE is saddened to learn that Rocky “Soul Man” Johnson (born Wayde Douglas Bowles), a WWE Hall of Famer, former World Tag Team Champion, and father of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, has passed away at age 75.”

Dave Meltzer, a sports journalist and editor for the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, first broke the news of Rocky’s passing on Twitter. “What horrible news, Rocky Johnson passed away,” he wrote. “Dwayne’s father. Our best to Dwayne, Ricky, Ata and the entire family.”

Rocky was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, as Wayde Douglas Bowles and began wrestling at 16 years old. He began his professional wrestling career in 1964 and then later became a National Wrestling Alliance Georgia Champion and won numerous other championships from 1970 to 1990.

In 1983, he joined the WWE and began wrestling with Tony Atlas. The two then became the first African American tag team – they were known as The Soul Patrol – and won the World Tag Team Championship in the World Wrestling Federation. He was also inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.

Rocky later retired from professional wrestling in 1991 but went on to train his son, Dwayne, to help him become a wrestler. In June 2018, Dwayne wrote a touching tribute to his father on Instagram and thanked him for teaching him how to be a father to his own daughters.

“Happy Father’s Day to this hardly ever smiling OG badass. Little boys by nature, look up to and idolize their old man. They want to be just like em, do whatever they do and are always looking for their approval,” the actor wrote. “Funny thing is the day I stopped looking for that approval was the day I understood what it meant to be man and more importantly, a father.”

Dwayne added, “That shift lifted me to a new level of gratitude for the tough love he always gave. Years later as a man and father of three girls, I know that tough love, is a helluva lot better than no love at all. I’ll take it. It’s made me who I am today. Grateful to the original Rock. #HappyFathersDay #KingStache #RockyJohnson.”

Rocky married Ata Maivia in 1970. The two welcomed their son, Dwayne, who was born in 1972. The couple later separated in 2003.

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