WWE Hall of Famer 'Superstar' Billy Graham Dead at Age 79

The wrestling world is mourning the death of Billy Graham, who died on Wednesday at 79 after a series of health issues.

via: USA Today

“WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham has passed away,” WWE said in a statement. “A former WWE Champion, Graham’s flashy fashion style, over-the-top interviews and bodybuilder physique created the archetype for a generation of Superstars that followed in his footsteps.”

Graham, whose birth name was Eldridge Wayne Coleman, had health issues for many years after his wrestling career.

In April, his family said he had been hospitalized for over four months, losing over 80 pounds while dealing with an infection in his ears, skull and sinus cavity, according to his Facebook page. On April 30, it was revealed Graham had acute kidney failure and dehydration and was battling organ failure. On Monday, his wife, Valerie, said doctors wanted to remove him from life support, but she refused.

He made his debut with the company, then known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation, in 1975, and won three world titles throughout his 15-year career, before becoming a manager and commentator.

His charismatic persona, mixed with his brash talk during out-of-the-ring interviews, unique wardrobe and different colored facial hair made him a crowd favorite, and shifted the company towards making their talent “larger than life” characters. He was also famous for his tagline, “The man of the hour, the man with the power, too sweet to be sour!”

Many WWE stars, including Triple H and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, have credited Graham for inspiring their careers.


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