Ralph Hubert “Sonny” Barger Jr. was a renowned American outlaw biker, author and actor who was born on October 8, 1938, and passed away on June 29, 2022, at the age of 83. Sonny Barger was a native of Modesto and was best known for being a founding member of the Oakland, California chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. He had a significant impact on the biker culture, wrote five books, and appeared in movies and television programs.
Early Life and Legal Troubles
Sonny Barger was raised by his grandmother and was allegedly expelled from school for physically assaulting teachers and fellow students. He worked at a store before joining the army, where he served for 14 months before being released. After working machines for a few years, he joined the Oakland chapter of the Hells Angels in 1957, after the dissolution of the Oakland Panthers – his former motorcycle club. Barger and his fellow Hells Angels members were easily recognized due to the trademark skull patch on their biker jackets.
In his life, Barger faced many legal problems. In 1963, he was detained for marijuana possession, and in 1965 and 1966, he was again detained for assault with a lethal weapon. Despite this, he was known for his charismatic personality, and his notoriety enabled him to produce books and make films.
Hells Angels and Net Worth
As of June 2022, Barger’s estimated net worth was $500,000 (or roughly £400,000), according to Celebrity Net Worth. The Hells Angels is currently a growing organization with 467 charters in 59 nations, according to their official website. However, the Justice Department identifies the Hells Angels as a criminal organization with a history of drug trafficking, murders, and other violent crimes.
Cause of Death and Funeral
Barger passed away due to cancer in the presence of his wife and other family members. On his Facebook page, he stated that he had lived a long and adventurous life and had the privilege of being part of an amazing club. His funeral, which took place on September 24, 2022, at 99 Speedway in North Wilson Way, was attended by approximately 7,000 people. Prior to this, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office had warned that the funeral could potentially be dangerous. The service cost his agency $400,000, and the California Highway Patrol and dozens of other organizations collectively spent millions of dollars securing the neighborhood.
Despite being known as an outlaw biker, Barger had a significant impact on the biker culture. He wrote five books, including the autobiography “Hell’s Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club,” which made him a bestselling author. He also appeared in movies and television programs, including “Hell’s Angels ’69,” “Hell’s Angels on Wheels,” and “Sons of Anarchy.” His charisma, fearlessness, and influence on biker culture have cemented his place in American history.