Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s Father and WWE Wrestler Rocky Johnson Dies at Age 75

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s father, Rocky Johnson, has passed away.

The former wrestler, who was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008, died at the age of 75, WWE reported on Wednesday, January 15.

Ata Johnson, Dwayne Johnson and Rocky Johnson Death
Ata Johnson, Dwayne Johnson and Rocky Johnson pose at Dwayne Johnson’s Hands and Footprints Ceremony held at TCL Chinese Theatre on May 19, 2015 in Hollywood, California. Eric Charbonneau/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Rocky, who was born Wayde Douglas Bowles, began his career in wrestling in the mid-1960s and retired from the ring in 1991. He was known by fans as “Soul Man” and was one-half of the Soul Patrol, a wrestling duo made up of Rocky and Tony Atlas. Together, they were the first African-American World Tag Team champions in WWE history.

Rocky Johnson Death
Rocky Johnson WWE

The former athlete’s son, Dwayne, 47, went on to follow in his footsteps, wrestling from 1996 to 2004 before returning to the ring again in 2011. He has since appeared in different matches on and off, but has focused primarily on his acting career since 2004.

Rocky and Dwayne were close and in March 2019, the Jumanji actor thanked his father for everything he did for him by purchasing him a new home.

“About two, three weeks ago I called my dad and I said, ‘Look, you’re probably happy where you’re at but I want to do something for you, I want to buy you a brand new home, wherever you want to live, you can live,’” Dwayne told his followers via Instagram in March.

The father of three went on to explain that his dad was “speechless” at the time, but he eventually called back and agreed to go and look at properties.

“My dad’s an old-school tough guy,” he continued. “[He said], ‘No one ever called to tell me they were gonna buy me a house before and the fact that it’s you, it’s my son. I’m so proud of you and I love you so much.’”

Dwayne Johnson and Rocky Johnson Death Gallery
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Being able to give something that meaningful to his father “felt good to [Dwayne’s] heart,” and also caused the Moana star to reflect on how he and his dad got to that point in their relationship.

“You know, my dad used to beat my ass, tough love, and I hated it back then but I’m so grateful for it now,” Dwayne said. “It just felt good to kind of give back to the ones who raised you, so love you too, Pop.”

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