Ralph Hubert Barger, better known as Sonny Barger, was an American outlaw biker, author, and actor
He was a founding member of the Oakland, California chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in 1957. He authored five books and appeared on television and in film.
In 1983, Barger was diagnosed with throat cancer after years of heavy smoking. His diagnosis and treatment took place at Fort Miley VA Hospital in San Francisco.
Having stage III laryngeal cancer, a total laryngectomy with bilateral functional neck dissections was performed by Michael Tralla MD, FACS.
Consequently, due to his vocal cords being removed, he learned to vocalize using the muscles in his esophagus.
Barger underwent surgery as a result of prostate cancer in 2012. His prostate was removed and he was subsequently declared free of cancer.
Barger passed away on June 29, 2022, at the age of 83 after a battle with liver cancer.
Sonny Barger Family: Parents, Siblings, Wife, Children
Ralph Hubert Barger was born in Modesto, California on October 8, 1938.
His mother abandoned the family when Barger was four months old, leaving him and his older sister Shirley to be raised by their grandmother and alcoholic father.
Barger’s first wife Elsie Mae died on February 1, 1967, from an embolism in the bloodstream after undergoing an illegal abortion. In 1969, he began a relationship with Sharon Gruhlke, a former beauty queen from Livermore.
Barger married Gruhlke while he was incarcerated at Folsom State Prison in 1973.
He married his fourth wife, Zorana, on June 25, 2005, and the couple was still together as husband and wife at the time of his death.
Though Sonny Barger married a total of four times over the course of his life, he never had kids.