“Father of Zombie Film” George A. Romero passes away at 77

Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero, the man behind the 1968 cult classic Night of the Living Dead, has passed away at the age of 77.

The Los Angeles Times reports Romero died in his sleep Sunday after a battle with lung cancer.

Romero’s manager Chris Roe posted on Facebook that the director died while “listening to the score of The Quiet Man, one of his all-time favorite films, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side. He died peacefully in his sleep, following a brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer, and leaves behind a loving family, many friends and a filmmaking legacy that has endured, and will continue to endure, the test of time.”

Romero earned the nickname Father of the Zombie Film with Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and Survival of the Dead.

The horror film maker was born in the Bronx in New York City on Feb. 4, 1940.  Romero attended Carnegie Mellon University and graduated from the College of Fine Arts in 1960.

Thanks to Romero and his ties to Pittsburgh, the city has been called the “Zombie Capital of the World” and each year hosts an event called Zombie Fest.

Hollywood took to Twitter to mourn the death of the trailblazing filmmaker.