Born Richard Van Slater, he was an amateur wrestler—and teammate of Paul Orndorff’s—at the University of Tampa. His professional career took off in the early 1970s, particularly in Georgia Championship Wrestling. The Florida native competed in numerous promotions but was best known to national audiences for his time in WCW and a brief WWF run. He also spent time in Japan.
“Slater was a prolific competitor during the 1970s and 1980s in Georgia Championship Wrestling, Mid-South Wrestling and Mid-Atlantic Wrestling, where he teamed with WWE Hall of Famer Bob Orton and had a memorable rivalry with WWE Hall of Famer Jake “The Snake” Roberts,” WWE said in a statement. “WWE extends its condolences to Slater’s family, friends and fans.”