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|Born||Ralph Hubert Barger
October 8, 1938
|Known for||Founding member of Hells Angels, Oakland chapter|
Sonny Barger is also the author of four books: Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, Freedom: Credos from the Road, Dead in 5 Heartbeats, and 6 Chambers, 1 Bullet. He was editor for the book Ridin' High, Livin' Free. Barger was identified but didn't speak in Hells Angels on Wheels and was one of several members of the Angels who had speaking parts playing themselves in Hell's Angels '69. He wrote a guide for motorcycle riders published in 2010.
Barger was one of the Hells Angels present at The Rolling Stones' Altamont Free Concert in 1969. He is also a prominent figure in Hunter S. Thompson's bestselling book, Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. Barger and the Hells Angels are also depicted in Tom Wolfe's best seller The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test during Ken Kesey's La Honda encampment.
In 1983, Barger was diagnosed with throat cancer, caused by years of heavy smoking. As a result, his vocal cords were removed, and after a laryngectomy he has learned to vocalize using the muscles in his throat.
As of 2007, Barger remains an active member of the Hells Angels in the Cave Creek Chapter (Phoenix, Arizona), having moved there from Oakland in 1998. He has owned 10 to 12 motorcycles throughout his life. In recent years Barger has worked to promote motorcycle safety, co-authoring a book on the subject with Darwin Holmstrom, the author of The Complete Idiot's Guide to Motorcycles (Alpha: 1998). The book Let's Ride: Sonny Barger's Guide to Motorcycling was released by HarperCollins on June 8, 2010.
|“||In terms of pure work-manship, personally I don't like Harleys. I ride them because I'm in the club, and that's the image, but if I could I would seriously consider riding a Honda ST1100 or a BMW. We really missed the boat not switching over to the Japanese models when they began building bigger bikes. I'll usually say "Fuck Harley-Davidson."||”|
—- Ralph "Sonny" Barger, Hell's Angel 
On November 30, 2010, Barger made a short guest appearance on the season 3 finale of the FX Television series Sons Of Anarchy as Lenny "The Pimp" Janowitz, about a fictional outlaw motorcycle club, allegedly based on the Hells Angels. Show creator Kurt Sutter spent time with Barger and other members of Hells Angel's researching for the show, and acted opposite Barger in his scene. Barger returned again on the Sons Of Anarchy as Lenny "The Pimp" Janowitz November 29, 2011 on the Season 4 finale part one. Barger's third guest appearance on Sons Of Anarchy as Lenny "The Pimp" Janowitz was during season 5, episode 10 which aired on November 13, 2012.
- Hell's Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club, William Morrow, 2001, ISBN 0-06-093754-8
- Ridin' High, Livin' Free: Hell-Raising Motorcycle Stories, William Morrow, 2003, ISBN 0-06-000603-X
- Freedom: Credos from the Road, William Morrow, 2005, ISBN 0-06-053256-4
- Let's Ride: Sonny Barger's Guide to Motorcycling, William Morrow, 2010, ISBN 0-06-196427-1
- Dead in 5 Heartbeats, HarperTorch, 2004, ISBN 9780060532536
- 6 Chambers, 1 Bullet, William Morrow, 2006, ISBN 9780060745318
- Hell's Angels on Wheels (1967)
- Hell's Angels '69 (1969)
- Sons of Anarchy television series, (2010-2012): Played recurring character Lenny "The Pimp" Janowitz
- Dead in 5 Heartbeats, movie 2012
- Hell's Angels Forever, movie 1983 Sonny Barger, Jerry Garcia, Scott Barnes, Johnny Paycheck, Willie Nelson
- Jury Finds Hells Angels Leader Guilty in Plots, Los Angeles Times, October 29, 1988 Unknown parameter
- Barger (2001)
- Barger, Ralph. "Harleys, Choppers, Full Dressers, and Stolen Wheels". Hell's Angel the Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club. Harper. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-06-093754-6.
- "Sonny Barger: Full Biography". The New York Times (Movies & TV). Retrieved February 15, 2012.
- Sonny Barger at the Internet Movie Database
- Independent Feature Film Dead In 5 Heartbeats by American Motorcycle Legend Sonny Barger
- Dead in 5 Heartbeats (2013)
- DEAD IN 5 HEARTBEATS (movie review) | Forces of Geek: the only pop culture site that matters
- Associated Press (Jun 14, 1979). "Authorities Crack Down on 'Angels'". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- Associated Press (Aug 2, 1980). "Hells Angels Leader Leaves Jail". New York Times. Retrieved December 27, 2011.
- Martin, Phillip (December 2, 1992). "Look Homeward Angelcycle Icon Sonny Barger Kick-Starts Life as a Free Man by Violating Parole". Phoenix New Times. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- Bryant, Nick (October 5, 2000), ""Hell's Angel" interview (audio)", Salon.com
- Stillman, Deanne (July 10, 2000), "Hell's author; Legendary bad-ass biker Sonny Barger and his roaring Harley are burnin' up the highways on a ... uh ... book tour?", Salon.com