Canadian Rocky 'Soul Man' Johnson, father of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson dies
In this undated photo provided by WWE, Inc., "Mean" Gene Okerlund interviews Rocky "Soul Man" Johnson. Johnson, a WWE Hall of Fame wrestler who became better known as the father of actor Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson, died Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020. He was 75. (WWE, Inc. via AP)
The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:35AM EST
Last Updated Thursday, January 16, 2020 6:36AM EST
Canadian professional wrestling legend Rocky (Soul Man) Johnson, the father of actor Dwayne (the Rock) Johnson, has died at the age of 75.
World Wrestling Entertainment, where Johnson reached the greatest heights of his career, confirmed his death on Wednesday.
Johnson was born in Amherst, N.S., and made his pro wrestling debut in Southern Ontario before rising to fame in the National Wrestling Alliance in the mid-1960s.
He started in the WWE in 1983 with rivalries with the likes of Greg (The Hammer) Valentine, Don Muraco and Adrian Adonis.
Eventually he teamed with Tony Atlas as The Soul Patrol and the two men became the first African-American World Tag Team Champions in WWE history when they defeated The Wild Samoans on Dec. 10, 1983.
After Johnson retired from wrestling in 1991 he helped train his son The Rock -- a nickname that was partly in tribute to his father.
The younger Johnson went on to become the first-ever African-American WWE champion and then transition into a successful career as an actor.
Rocky Johnson was inducted by his son into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 15, 2020.