WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race passed away at the age of 76 today. AEW first revealed the passing on their Twitter.
WWE confirmed the passing and noted that Race passed away due to complications from lung cancer. Race first revealed back in March that he was battling the disease.
People close to Race noted on his official Twitter account that he passed away at 12:50pm this afternoon. They wrote, “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”
We’ve noted how Race was hospitalized for more than one week back in mid-July due to health issues that came up while he was driving to Knoxville, TN for a fan convention. Race then canceled all upcoming bookings, and finally went home at the beginning of last week, for what was said to be continued care and treatment.
Below are the full statements from WWE and Race’s Twitter account
WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race passes awayWWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race passed away today at age 76 due to complications from lung cancer.
Harley Race captured the NWA World Heavyweight Championship seven times, which stood as a record until Ric Flair broke it in 1991.
To this day, only a handful of Superstars can claim to have won more World Heavyweight Championships than Race.
During the 1970s and early 1980s, Race was the National Wrestling Alliance’s most dominant champion, winning the sport’s oldest World Heavyweight Championship from the likes of Dory Funk Jr., Giant Baba, Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes and Flair.
The tough-as-nails Race was so universally respected that WWE, despite having seceded from the NWA and having its own World Heavyweight Champion, chose to recognize Race’s title status as well. As a result, Race was the first NWA Champion to engage in title unification matchups against WWE Champions like “Superstar” Billy Graham and Bob Backlund.
In what seemed unthinkable at the time, Race, one of the NWA’s most influential figures of all time, joined WWE in 1986 during the company’s national expansion. After winning the King of the Ring tournament, Race was the first to don regal robes and a crown. “King” Harley Race was managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan and was introduced to a new generation of fans. Race battled all of WWE’s top heroes and pinned Junkyard Dog at WrestleMania III in front of a record-setting attendance of 93,000 fans.
WWE extends its condolences to Race’s family, friends and fans.