George A. Romero, who launched the zombie film genre by helming the 1968 film Night of the Living Dead, died on Sunday. He was 77. His manager Chris Roe confirmed that the director died in his sleep following a battle with lung cancer. “Legendary filmmaker George A. Romero passed away on Sunday July 16, 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 said in a statement. “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’s other films include several sequels to the cult classic Night of the Living Dead, such as Dawn of the Dad, Day of the Dead and Land of the Dead. He also directed The Crazies, a segment in the horror anthology movie Creepshow and even an episode of Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.