Entertainment Sports Dwayne Johnson Pays Tribute to Wrestling Legend Jerry Jarrett After His Death: 'What a Life' "You were good to me," Johnson wrote of wrestling promoter and owner Jerry Jarrett, who died after battling esophageal cancer By Anna Lazarus Caplan Anna Lazarus Caplan Instagram Twitter Digital News Writer, PEOPLE People Editorial Guidelines Published on February 16, 2023 10:58 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Dwayne Johnson, Jerry Jarrett. Photo: John Phillips/Getty Images; NWA Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson is mourning the loss of legendary wrestling promoter Jerry Jarrett, who died on Tuesday at the age of 80. In a lengthy video posted to Instagram early Thursday morning, the Black Adam star, 50, reminisced about the man who helped launch not only his career in the ring, but also that of Johnson's father, Rocky "Soul Man" Johnson. "In the wild world of pro wrestling, the world that I love, we lost a legend this weekend," Johnson began his video, in which he told the story of Jarrett and his wrestler-son, Jeff, with whom the actor "came up together" in their then-burgeoning wrestling careers. "You were good to my dad when he was having a hard time catching a break," the star wrote alongside the video. "I'll never forget it." Dwayne Johnson Visits 7-Eleven Where He Used to Shoplift as a Kid to 'Right the Wrong' He added, "You were also good to me when I had $7 bucks in my pocket. I'll never forget it. Thank you for taking care of my family." Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories. Jarrett died in Franklin, Tenn., after battling esophageal cancer, according to Commercial Appeal. A 2009 inductee into the National Wrestling Alliance Hall of Fame, Jarrett was a popular wrestler, earning multiple tag team championship belts in the '60s and '70s. His greatest influence, however, came out of the rink where he worked as a promoter and owner, helping to expand the entertainment sport's audience in the Mid-Southern United States. In 1977, he founded the Memphis, Tennessee-based Continental Wrestling Association in 1977. He then created the United States Wrestling Association in 1989 when he merged the Continental Wrestling Association with the Dallas-based promotion World Class Championship Wrestling. "He changed the business," wrestling historian Mark James, — who also co-wrote Jarrett's autobiography, "he Best of Times — told Commercial Appeal. "And that's not an understatement." Dwayne Johnson Marks Late Father Rocky Johnson's 77th Birthday with Moving Tribute Oahu native Johnson has been open about sharing his family's struggles as he grew up in Hawaii. In November, he shared that he had recently revisited the 7-Eleven store where he often shoplifted Snickers bars before his workouts in the 1990s. In a video he posted to social media, Johnson documented the trip in which he bought out the store's supply of the candy bars and left them for any hungry customers to take for free. The actor explained in his post that 36 years earlier — when he was just 14 years old — he used to go to the store daily and steal himself a king-sized Snickers on his way to the gym because he couldn't afford to buy one. Dwayne Johnson Instagram "I was broke as hell," he explained in his Instagram post of his pre-workout snack, recalling that "the same clerk was there every day and always just turned her head and never busted me." On Thursday, the Jungle Cruise star fondly looked back at Jarrett, who not only helped the Johnson family, but also the impression he made upon the wrestling world for generations. "What a life that that man lived," Johnson said. "What an impact he had. What a business he loved."