Former pro wrestler Lanny Poffo, the younger brother of "Macho Man" Randy Savage, has died at the age of 68.
Fellow pro wrestler "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan shared the news at the request of the Poffo family. A cause of death has not been announced.
While Lanny Poffo was overshadowed by his more famous brother, his career path made total sense given his lineage. Lanny and Randy's father, Angelo Poffo, was a wrestling legend in his own right.
Poffo got his start at the age of 19, and made his debut in the All-South Wrestling Alliance in the mid '70s.
Poffo gained more experience throughout the remainder of the decade, moving on to the National Wrestling Alliance and Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling.
Poffo first gained widespread recognition when he joined the then-World Wrestling Federation (WWF) in 1985, just one month after his brother made his debut with the company. Billed as "Leaping Lanny" Poffo, storylines never mentioned the fact that he was the Macho Man's brother.
Poffo was a mainstay in the WWF through the remainder of the '80s, wrestling as a babyface (good guy), before finally taking on a more villainous persona.
In 1989, "Leaping Lanny" became "The Genius." Bedecked in an academic cap and gown, he drew the ire of local fans by insulting their intelligence.
Poffo never received a proper main event push in the WWF, and he left the company in late 1992, re-emerging in independent wrestling promotions.
Poffo made a brief return to the WWF in 1994, then moved on to the promotion's main rival, World Championship Wrestling, the following year. He stayed with WCW until 1999, and made limited appearances with various promotions throughout the 2000s and 2010s.
Over the years, Poffo gained a behind-the-scenes reputation as an intelligent, thoughtful person—indeed, this was used as inspiration for his "Genius" character. Following his pro wrestling career, he became an outspoken anti-smoking advocate, publishing two books on the topic.
Poffo also became a podcaster of some note, hosting The Genius Cast with Lanny Poffo, in 2018 and 2019. Following the death of his brother in 2011, Poffo periodically spoke about the Macho Man in various documentary interviews.
Poffo was in Vilcabamba, Ecuador at the time of his death. Virtually no details have been released on the cause of death.
Poffo's final post was made on February 1st—just a day before his death was announced.
"WWE extends its condolences to Poffo's family, friends and fans," read a brief statement.
While never reaching the heights of his more famous brother, Poffo was still a well-known figure in wrestling throughout the '80s and '90s.
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