Lanny Poffo, known during his time in the World Wrestling Federation as “Leaping Lanny” and “The Genius,” has died at age 68. The news was broken by “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan on his Instagram page on Thursday afternoon. The cause of his death is unknown at the time of this writing.
Poffo’s prolific wrestling career began in the 1970s during the territorial era, appearing in promotions such as the National Wrestling Alliance before jumping to International Championship Wrestling, which was owned by his father, Angelo Poffo. After stints in the Continental Wrestling Association and Mid-South Wrestling, Poffo joined the World Wrestling Federation from 1985 to 1992, where he became known for his heel work and his poetry.
After leaving WWF, he joined the company’s rival promotion, World Championship Wrestling, from 1995 to 1999. According to Cagematch, he wrestled his final match in January 2020 for Survival Championship Wrestling in Rensselaer, New York. Poffo inducted his brother “Macho Man” Randy Savage into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015. In 2020, he appeared on an episode of “AEW Dynamite” as part of a tribute to the legends of Memphis Wrestling
Outside of wrestling, Poffo was an author who published two books, including the anti-smoking book “Limericks from the Heart and Lungs!” His biographical comic, “The Genius of Lanny Poffo” was released in 2018, the same year he started his “The Genius Cast with Lanny Poffo” podcast, which saw him interview a host of wrestling legends. Per IMDb, he was also an actor who starred in movies such as “Curse of the Wolf,” “Ninja: Prophecy of Death” and “Alien Danger 2! With Raven Van Slender.”
WWE issued the following statement on the passing of Lanny Poffo.
Lanny Poffo passes away
WWE is saddened to learn that Lanny Poffo, best known to sports-entertainment fans as The Genius, passed away at 68 years of age.
The son of Angelo Poffo and younger brother of WWE Hall of Famer “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Lanny Poffo had a style all his own. Arriving in WWE in 1985 alongside his brother, “Leaping” Lanny Poffo was one of the first high-flyers in WWE. While he achieved some success as a fan favorite reading his own poetry and throwing Frisbees to the crowd, he reached new heights as The Genius while managing Mr. Perfect.
WWE extends its condolences to Poffo’s family, friends and fans.