Baja, Mexico – The creator of the well-known television show “Cops” died of an apparent heart attack while competing in an off-road race in Mexico on Saturday, according to his reps.
John Langley, 78, was participating in the Coast to Coast Ensenada-San Felipe 250 off-road race when the medical emergency struck, according to Variety.
“The rescue teams acted quickly, but he didn’t survive,” Record Off-Road Races Director Ramon Castro told CNN.
Langley was pronounced dead at approximately 3 p.m., Castro confirmed.
Over 1,000 episodes of “Cops” aired over the show’s 32-season run, according to Variety.
It was canceled in the wake of the anti-police uprisings that popped up across the U.S. in the wake of the 2020 in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The show is still being produced for networks overseas, according to Variety.
“Cops,” which did not have any union writers, was originally picked up by FOX following the Writers Guild strike in 1988, Variety reported.
The SCORE community mourns the passing of Off-Road Motorsports Icon, John Langley, Founder of COPS racing, who passed away from a medical condition, while participating in a race on Saturday. SCORE International extends its condolences and prayers to the Langley family and team. pic.twitter.com/IxmaAjdQwF
— SCORE International (@SCOREintl) June 27, 2021
In addition to being one of the first reality television programs ever created, “Cops” was also nominated for four Emmy awards in the outstanding informational series category early on.
“Langley is often credited with the innovative ‘video verité’ signature style of the award-winning COPS program,” his biography on the Langley Production website reads. “Though now commonplace, at the time the camera technique notably influenced TV advertising and news reporting, as well as other network and syndicated programming.”
The show ran on FOX until 2013, when it was picked up by Spike TV, which was later re-branded as The Paramount Network, according to NBC News.
R.I.P. John Langley (1943-2021). He was an American television and film director, writer, and producer who was best known as the creator and executive producer of the television show "Cops", which premiered in 1989 until 2020. So long, John. #RIP pic.twitter.com/rclru1V3EU
— ❤ 🏳️🌈 Lovable BradHound 🏳️🌈 ❤ (@BradHound) June 28, 2021
Langley, an Oklahoma City native who served in the U.S. Army intelligence unit in the early 1960s, also produced other law enforcement shows, including “Brooklyn’s Finest,” “Who Killed JFK?” “Terrorism: Target USA,” Undercover Stings,” “Street Patrol,” and “Las Vegas Jailhouse,” among others, Variety reported.
The off-road enthusiast often competed in races like the one he was participating in when he passed away, according to NBC News.
Langley leaves behind his wife, Maggie, his daughters, Sarah and Jennifer, his sons, Morgan and Zak, and his seven grandchildren, Variety reported.