The legendary George A. Romero has passed away at 77.

According to a statement to the LA Times provided by his longtime producing partner, Peter Grunwald, Romero died Sunday in his sleep following a “brief but aggressive battle with lung cancer.” He was listening to the score of one his favorite films, 1952’s The Quiet Man, with his wife, Suzanne Desrocher Romero, and daughter, Tina Romero, at his side, the family said.

George A. Romero made cinematic and horror history when he directed 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, which kicked off the zombie sub-genre. Mr. Romero continued the Dead series by directing Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead, and Survival of the Dead. It was recently reported that he was writing and directing George A. Romero Presents: Road of the Dead. The film is set on an island where zombie prisoners race cars in a modern-day Coliseum for the entertainment of wealthy humans.

In recent years, Mr. Romero has been making rounds in the convention circuit and meeting excited fans across the country. He will forever be remembered as one of the greatest horror film directors. He will certainly be missed.

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