This week, founder of Seal Team Six, Richard Marcinko, AKA Demo Dick, died at 81 years old.
The passing was announced Sunday evening in a Tweet from Marcinko’s son, Matt Marcinko.
"Last night, Christmas evening, we lost a hero, who's also known as The Rogue Warrior, the retired Navy SEAL commander AND the creator of SEAL Team Six, my father, Richard Marcinko. His legacy will live forever. The man has died a true legend."
The following day, family confirmed the death, announcing Marcinko suffered from a heart attack and passed away quietly at his home.
Marcinko is most known for creating SEAL Team Six after the need for a counter terrorist SEAL team was realized. It was also his idea to name it “Six” despite there being only two teams in order to confuse the Soviet Union, who they were thwarting at the time.
The team was founded in 1980 and would later be known for its 2011 mission in which SEAL Team Six hunted down and killed Osama bin Laden after the September 11th attacks.
Marcinko hand-picked his team members, including those from other SEAL teams. He led the organization until 1983 when he moved positions within the Navy. He also commanded SEAL Team Two. After 31 years of service, he retired from the Navy in 1989. He then became a well-respected author, military consultant, and public speaker.
He was known for being a rogue, rough and tough member of the military. His antics also earned him the nickname “Demo Dick.”
However, Marcinko was also the source of controversy when he was accused of conspiring with an arms dealer, which allegedly put $100,000 in his pocket. He denied the charges and said it was a ploy led by high-ranking Naval officers after he exposed weaknesses in their programs in the 1979 Iran hostage crisis. (It’s the events of this failed crisis exchange that led him to command SEAL Team Six; he was vocal about the shortcomings at the time.)
In any case, Marcinko served 15 months in jail for the ordeal. He was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the government but was acquitted of a separate charge of bribery in 1990. He later outlined the events in his autobiography, Rogue Warrior. He went on to write three more best-selling books.