Lanny Poffo died today at the age of 68. No cause of death was given.
Lanny Poffo was the son of Angelo and Judy Poffo, Angelo was a professional wrestler and promoter. It was only natural that Lanny follow his father and older brother, Randy aka Randy “The Macho Man” Savage into the sport.
Mr. Poffo began his career in 1974. He would go on to wrestle professionally for the All-South Wrestling Alliance, National Wrestling Alliance, Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling, International Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling, Continental Wrestling Association and the World Wrestling Federation. It would have been easy to capitalize on his brother’s fame, but Lanny wanted to make it on his own. In the WWE he was known as Leaping Lanny and then later, The Genius. It was as The Genius that Lanny Poffo generated the most heat.
I met Lanny Poffo at a small convention in 2009. Mr. Poffo was very approachable. I spoke to him about how when my sons were younger we loved to watch he and his brother wrestle. I went on to say that when I was a kid I saw Lanny’s dad wrestle many times. Lanny loved that I remembered his dad. As we talked about wrestling and his career, Lanny would always steer it back to his brother and father. What a humble man he was. Lanny also wanted folks to know that his brother, Randy, was an amazing baseball player and all-around athlete.
Lanny Poffo had written a poetry book about the dangers of smoking. He autographed a copy and gifted it to me. Most people, when they think of Lanny Poffo, think of The Genius. Lanny Poffo made a great heel which attests to his acting ability since he was such a generous kindhearted man outside the ring. That’s who I think of first.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to Lanny Poffo’s family, friends and fans.