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RIP Rocky Johnson — Wrestler And Father Of Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Dead At 75

How Did Rocky Johnson Die? New Details On Death Of Legendary Wrestler And Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson's Father At 75

He was a legendary wrestler who had a career all his own, but he's best known as the father of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. When it was announced that he'd passed away at the age of 75, fans of both wrestling in general and The Rock in particular poured out from all over the world, because his impact on the world extended far and beyond the confines of the ring.

But, more than anything else, Johnson was a man who was well-regarded by those who knew him ... and even by those who only met him even once. They all had the same question: how did Rocky Johnson die?

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Here's what we know about the unfortunate passing of this legend, friend, and father and the remarkable legacy he left behind.

1. How did Rocky Johnson die? An official cause of death has not yet been released. 

While we do not, as of this writing, know how Rocky Johnson died, what is known is that he died on January 15, 2020, in the Florida home that The Rock bought for him as a "thank you" for all he'd done for his career. The WWE confirmed his passing in a tweet that subsequently went viral.

2. He got his start as a truck driver. 

Born in Canada, Johnson — who was born Wayde Douglas Bowles — started out in his career as a truck driver. After moving to Ontario, Canada, he reportedly changed his legal name from Wayde Douglas Bowles to Rocky Johnson, and began his career in earnest.

Johnson went on to become the first black tag team combo to win a championship belt when he — alongside Tony Atlas — beat the Wild Samoans in a match. 

3. Johnson was married three times. 

In his autobiography Soulman: The Rocky Johnson Story, Johnson revealed that he was married three times. His first marriage was to a woman by the name of Una, who was a devout Jehovah's Witness and disapproved of his wrestling career.

While still married to Una, he began having an affair with Ata Maivia, daughter of wrestling legend "High Chief" Peter Maivia. The Maivias were wrestling royalty, being part of the Anoa'i family of wrestlers (that, today, also includes Roman Reigns and The Usos).

The Rock, who was born in 1972, was a product of Johnson's affair with Maivia; after his divorce from Una was granted in 1978, he married Ata four days later. Ultimately, Maivia and Johnson divorced in 2003. At the time of his death, he was married to a woman named Sheila, who was a speech pathologist.

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4. He helped train his famous son. 

After he retired from wrestling, Johnson helped train his son, Dwayne. Johnson was the one who came up with the "Rocky Maivia" character for his son; when the character flopped, Johnson helped him reboot as "The Rock," going from "face" (good guy) to "heel" (bad guy), and thus, a legend was born. 

5. The Rock once played his father on television. 

In one of his first-ever acting jobs in 1999, The Rock paid tribute to his father by portraying him on an episode of That 70s Show. He even took an opportunity to snark on himself saying, "You know, it's really nice bringing your kid to a wrestling match. You know, I've got a son, and one day he's going to become the most electrifying man in sports-entertainment." 

6. Tributes to Johnson poured in from all over the entertainment world. 

Tributes from all over the entertainment world poured in to pay tribute to Johnson when it was announced that he'd passed away. In addition to celebrities from the world of wrestling — such as Triple H and "Mankind" Mick Foley — other mainstream superstars like artist BossLogic and actor Marc Day paid tribute to the fallen wrestler. 

Check out a tribute to Johnson from wrestler Rusev below:

Our thoughts are with Rocky Johnson, The Rock, and their families and friends during this difficult time. 

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Bernadette Giacomazzo is an editor, writer, publicist, and photographer whose work has appeared in Teen Vogue, People, Us Weekly, The Source, XXL, HipHopDX, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Post, BET.com, and more.