George A. Romero, the director of classic horror films Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead, passed away on Sunday in his sleep after complications with lung cancer.

His manager Chris Roe issued a statement, saying that Romero was "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 is often seen as a pioneer film maker and is credited with creating the modern day zombie genre. His film Night of the Living Dead made $55 million of dollars off of a budget of $1.5 million back in 1968, but a copyright mistake caused him to lose control of distribution and miss out on a fortune.

However, he climbed back in 1978 with the release of Dawn of the Dead, often seen as his perennial film. This success led to another hit with 1985's Day of the Dead, another of his zombie films that is seen as a classic.

Romero saw a brief resurgence in the 2000's after 28 Days Later and a remake of Dawn of the Dead put the zombie genre back in focus. He directed Land of the Dead in 2005, Diary of the Dead in 2007, and Survival of the Dead in 2009.