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Ralph Hubert Barger, Jr.

Also Known As: "Sonny Barger"
Birthplace: Modesto, Stanislaus County, California, United States
Death: June 29, 2022 (83) (Liver cancer)
Immediate Family:

Son of Ralph Hubert Barger, Sr. and Katheryn Camela Green
Husband of Private
Ex-husband of Elsie Mae Barger and Private
Ex-partner of Private
Brother of Shirley Marie Rogers
Half brother of Private

Managed by: Erica Howton
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Sonny Barger

Ralph Hubert Barger (October 8, 1938 – June 29, 2022), better known as Sonny Barger, was an American outlaw biker, author, and actor who was a founding member of the Oakland, California, chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in 1957.[1] He authored five books, and appeared on television and in film.

“I think doing time is just part of growing up,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1994. “There’s just certain things you’ve got to do in your life. You’ve got to go to school, you’ve got to go in the Army, you’ve got to go to jail. It all helps you to have a well-rounded life.”


Ralph Hubert Barger Jr. was born in Modesto, Calif., on Oct. 8, 1938. When he was 4 months old, his mother, Kathryn (Ritch) Barger, ran away with a Trailways bus driver, leaving Sonny, as he came to be called, in the care of a babysitter. His father moved with Sonny and his sister, Shirley, to Oakland, where he worked as a stevedore.

At night, Sonny’s father would take him along as he spent his earnings in the city’s waterfront taverns. Sonny learned to swear from a parrot at one bar, Jungle Jim’s.

Mr. Barger’s first wife, Elsie Mae (George) Barger, died from a self-induced abortion. His marriages to Sharon Gruhlke and Noel Black both ended in divorce. He is survived by his fourth wife, Zorana (Katzakian) Barger, and his sister, Shirley Rogers.


On June 29, 2022, Barger died after a battle with liver cancer aged 83. He died peacefully in his home. His death was announced in a Facebook post reading:

If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing.

I’ve lived a long and good life filled with adventure. And I’ve had the privilege to be part of an amazing club. Although I’ve had a public persona for decades, i’ve mostly enjoyed special time with my club brothers, my family, and close friends. Please know that I passed peacefully after a brief battle with cancer. But also know that in the end, I was surrounded by what really matters: My wife, Zorana, as well as my loved ones. Keep your head up high, stay loyal, remain free, and always value honor.



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Sonny Barger's Timeline

October 8, 1938
Modesto, Stanislaus County, California, United States
June 29, 2022
Age 83