The Pro-Wrestling Dynasty Of The Poffo Family

Pro-wrestler Lanny "The Genius" Poffo died in early February 2023 at the age of 68 (per TMZ). Poffo's death was announced in a social media post by his friend, the pro-wrestler "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan. As of this report, Poffo's cause of death was not disclosed. Known early on in his career as "Leaping Lanny Poffo," Poffo (pictured) began his professional wrestling career in the mid-1970s in the All-South Wrestling Alliance before he made the switch to the WWE in the 1980s.

That was also around the same time Poffo adopted his "Genius" persona, known for wearing a graduate's cap and gown and reciting poetry in the ring. In 1989, Poffo scored perhaps the biggest victory of his career when he defeated Hulk Hogan on "Saturday Night's Main Event" (posted on YouTube). A life spent in pro-wrestling was Poffo's part of his family's legacy, as both his brother and father had their own successful careers in the sport beginning in the 1950s (per Online World of Wrestling).

Poffo's father was Angelo Poffo

The Poffo family legacy in pro-wrestling began with "The Genius" Lanny Poffo's father, Angelo Poffo. Per Online World of Wrestling, Angelo (pictured), a Chicago wrestler who typically wrestled tag-team, won his first heavyweight title in 1956 — the same era as other wrestling legends like Gorgeous George, via the Tampa Bay Times. He kept wrestling up through the early 1990s, long after his son, Lanny, joined him in the sport. Later on, Angelo promoted some of the Poffo brothers' events.

Earlier in his life, Angelo set a world record while serving in the U.S. Navy for sit-ups, or 6,000 thousand in a row; a feat recorded by "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" Famously frugal as a promoter and manager, the United States Champion wrestler picked up the nickname "The Miser." Angelo is also credited with innovating a pro-wrestling move called the "Italian neckbreaker." Angelo, who worked for a time as a wrestling promoter for Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling and International Championship Wrestling promotion, died in 2010 at the age of 84, according to Slam Wrestling. Angelo was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1995.

Poffo's brother was 'Macho Man' Randy Savage

Perhaps the biggest household name in terms of pro-wrestling from the Poffo family was Lanny's big brother, Randall Mario Poffo, better known as "Macho Man" Randy Savage. The iconic "Macho Man" Randy Savage died in a car wreck in 2011 at the age of 58, according to ESPN. In his long career, Savage made headlines with his loud and rowdy style. He was a champion wrestler for the World Wrestling Federation, the short-lived World Championship Wrestling, and the WWE, as well as in the intercontinental championships.

Randy's father, Angelo, also managed Macho Man later in his career. According to Slam Wrestling, Angelo even wrestled alongside his son on several occasions. Per WWE, "Macho Man" Randy Savage was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2015, four years after he died and five years after his dad's death. Fittingly, Savage's brother, Lanny, recited an original poem at the ceremony (per Cageside Seats). On his son's success in pro wrestling, Angelo reportedly said (via Slam Wrestling), "I was very happy about it. And they kept their money like I did, so we're all fine."