Lanny Poffo, a professional wrestler known as “Leaping Lanny” and “The Genius” and the brother of Randy “Macho Man” Savage, has died. He was 68.
Poffo was born into a pro wrestling family. In addition to his famous brother, Poffo was the son of former wrestler and promoter Angelo Poffo, who died in 2010. Savage died in 2011.
Poffo’s death was announced on social media by his friend, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan. A cause of death has not been announced.
“With a very, very heavy heart, I’ve been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius,” Duggan wrote.
The WWE also confirmed Poffo’s death in a statement, saying he had a style “all his own.”
“Arriving in WWE in 1985 alongside his brother, ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo was one of the first high-flyers in WWE. While he achieved some success as a fan favorite reading his own poetry and throwing Frisbees to the crowd, he reached new heights as The Genius while managing Mr. Perfect (Curt Hennig),” WWE said in its statement. “WWE extends its condolences to Poffo’s family, friends and fans.”
Poffo was known for his deadpan poetry he would recite in the ring while wearing a cap and gown. He began as a babyface, calling himself “Leaping Lanny.” He later turned into a heel as “The Genius.” Whether a heel or babyface, he remained a fan favorite.
Poffo began his pro wrestling career during the 1970s in the National Wrestling Alliance before jumping to International Championship Wrestling, the promotion owned by his father, Wrestling Inc. reported.
He wrestled in the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) from 1985 to 1992. He joined the WWF’s rival promotion, World Championship Wrestling, where he competed from 1995 to 1999.
Poffo inducted his brother into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, fittingly welcoming him with a poem.
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