Two of the horror genre’s biggest names posted tributes to Night of the Living Dead director George A. Romero, who died earlier today, at the age of 77. Romero, who co-wrote and directed 1968’s Night of the Living Dead, is often credited with founding the zombie genre. Night of the Living Dead was made for a budget of just $150,000, but went on to become a cult-classic and earned more than $30 million, according to Independent.
Author Stephen King, whose books have sold over 350 million copies, many of which have been made into movies, posted a tribute to his friend and collaborator on his Twitter page.
Musician and director Rob Zombie, who directed the films House of 1000 Corpses, The Devil’s Rejects and 2007’s Halloween remake, also posted a tribute to the “zombie master.”
After the success of Night of the Living Dead, Romero when on to make Dawn of the Dead, Day of the Dead, Land of the Dead, Diary of the Dead and George A. Romero’s Survival of the Dead.
Romero was born in the Bronx in New York City on Feb. 4, 1940. He attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh and graduated in 1960 from the university’s College of Fine Arts.
Romero took part in a “10 Questions” segment for TIME in 2010, where he answered questions about his life as a director and Night of the Living Dead.