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Lanny Poffo is often referred to in reference to his brother, Randall Poffo, otherwise known as “Macho Man” Randy Savage. However, Poffo was himself a mainstay of the then-WWF during the 1980s and was a decorated professional wrestler in his own right. Best known as “Leaping” Lanny Poffo and The Genius, Poffo died at the age of 68.

The news was announced by fellow pro wrestler, “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.

“With a very, very heavy heart, I’ve been asked to let everyone know about the passing of our friend and colleague Lanny Poffo, The Genius. RIP Lanny,” Duggan wrote Thursday.

Poffo was trained by his father, professional wrestler Angelo Poffo, and the two eventually became NWA tag-team champions together. He also competed in a tag team with Randy in ICW, which was run by their father. The two brothers debuted in the World Wrestling Federation in the mid-1980s. While Randy became a huge star, Lanny found mid-card success as “Leaping” Lanny Poffo, who would often throw Frisbees from the ring and read a poem about his opponent. In 1989, he repackaged himself as “The Genius,” a heel who ridiculed the home crowd as well as his opponents with his superior intellect. After leaving the WWF in 1992, he bounced around various promotions, including a brief stint with WCW and various independent appearances.

The WWE released a statement about Poffo following his passing as well.

“Arriving in WWE in 1985 alongside his brother, ‘Leaping’ Lanny Poffo was one of the first high-flyers in WWE,” WWE wrote on its website. “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 [Curt Hennig]. WWE extends its condolences to Poffo’s family, friends, and fans.”

A nostalgic favorite for many pro wrestling fans who grew up in the 1980s, Poffo’s passing garnered plenty of positive remembrances on social media.

[Hacksaw Jim Duggan]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to sean@thecomeback.com.