Prison reform activist, writer and filmmaker Ryan Leone has passed away at the age of 36.
Best known for his semi-autobiographical addiction novel Wasting Talent, Leone spoke on issues such as substance abuse and the need for prison reform in the United States.
News of his death broke online which followed with a slew of tributes to the late activist. It was confirmed by Ryan Leone’s fiancée Karina Franco.
Ryan Leone’s death confirmed this July
This month, the sad news broke on Twitter that Leone had died after suffering a number of health complications in hospital.
On 2 July 2022, Karina Franco shared the news in a Facebook post: “I honestly don’t know what to say. I’m in a state of shock. But a lot of you need to know. Ryan, passed away last night. I Feel like my heart and soul have been ripped out. And I’m sorry for posting this. But this is my way of telling you. I don’t have the strength to call people,” Franco wrote.
“Rest in PEACE finally my love. I can’t go on without you. This isn’t real. I tried so hard to save you,” Franco wrote in another Facebook post, accompanied by the song “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison.
What happened to Ryan Leone?
On 29 June 2022, Ryan Leone took to Facebook to share that he was suffering with numerous health issues from a broken finger to a pneumonia diagnosis.
“I broke my finger. Then, completely unrelated, I went to the hospital twice in a week. First time they told me I had pneumonia. I got a second opinion. No pneumonia. This is respiratory and gastrointestinal issues stemming from being on way too much Methadone 170 mgs!! My stomach becomes so bloasted it feels like some rapid ever-expanding Willy Wonka inflated sanction.”
Ryan Leone then goes to speak about his upcoming film project with a “rapper everyone knows.” Leone was due to fly overseas on 22 July 2022 to work with the unnamed rapper, which he was hoping he’d be well enough for.
Leone concludes with a heartbreaking statement: “I need to stop being so reckless. I’m a dad now. Amen.”
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Through the lows to new highs
Ryan Leone was born 3 August 1985 in Framingham, Massachusetts but was raised in Santa Barbara, California from the age of 3. Creative from a young age, Leone was writing short stories as a child, later spending his early adulthood working in television. But things were not smooth sailing for Ryan Leone throughout his adolescence.
Leone became involved with drugs as a teenager, but it wasn’t until he became involved with the Mendoza Clan, an infamous drug cartel, that things took a turn for the worse. His involvement drug dealing for the Mendoza Clan landed Leone with a five-year federal prison sentence. It was this time spent behind bars that Ryan Leone wrote his first novel.
A documentary about Ryan Leone’s life titled Idiot Savant: The Savage Life of Ryan Leone has yet to be released, but has been in the works since 2017.
Following his release from prison, Ryan Leone channeled his efforts towards sobriety and intended to use his experiences to educate others
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Tributes to Ryan Leone flood the internet
As news of Ryan Leone’s death circulates on social media, many friends and fans have paid tribute to the late activist and writer.
One Twitter user commented in response to the news: “Fly high Ryan Leone you don’t have to suffer anymore.”
Another wrote: “Take your time, you have now all the time in the world. Rest in peace, where ever you are Ryan Leone.”
Our thoughts are with Ryan Leone’s family and friends during this difficult time.
The post Ryan Leone’s death confirmed by fiancée as tributes to late activist roll in appeared first on The Focus.
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