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WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race died Thursday due to complications from lung cancer, according to WWE. He was 76.
His Twitter account announced the news, saying he fought “up until the very last of his existence.”
Today at 12:50, we lost the man that fought up until the very last of his existence. More information will be released soon, but just know that he loved pro-wrestling and the fans that loved him.
Harley Race, we love you
— Harley Race (@8XNWAChampion) August 1, 2019
Race is an eight-time National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) World Champion. He dominated in the 1970s and 80s, participating in a total of four organizations, and was one of professional wrestling’s most respected. He is one of only six to be inducted in the WWE, NWA, Wrestling Observer Newsletter and Pro Wrestling Hall of Fames, according to CBS Sports.
Race’s health had been declining for years and he was confined to a wheelchair. Earlier this month he was hospitalized while traveling to the Knoxville Fanboy Expo.
According an Instagram post by World League Wrestling, and retweeted by his account, he exhibited signs that “needed to be addressed by medical personnel.” He was admitted July 11 to a hospital far from his family, prompting a T-shirt fundraiser for expenses, and all of his appearances on the schedule were canceled.
In one of Harley Race's last public interviews, he appeared on #TenPoundsOfGold with @RealNickAldis about what it means to be the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship. #RIPHarleyRace@8XNWAChampion pic.twitter.com/4ORacgNuHo
— NWA (@nwa) August 1, 2019
The Missouri native debuted in 1960 and had legendary feuds with fellow superstars Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes and the Funk brothers, Terry and Dory Jr. In 1986 he joined the WWE during expansion and feuded with Hulk Hogan. In 1991 he retired to a career in television.
The wrestler stayed active in promoting and training after retirement. His annual Harley Race Camp, held at the Harley Race Academy, is currently accepting participants. It’s scheduled to run Labor Day weekend.
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