Harley Race, one of wrestling’s biggest names and legends, has passed away at age 76.
Race’s death was first confirmed by Dustin Rhodes, and later by the National Wrestling Alliance and All Elite Wrestling. Race was an eight-time NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion, and reigned as the first-ever NWA United States Heavyweight Champion. He also held the WWA World Heavyweight Championship on one occasion and won the 1986 King of the Ring tournament in WWF. Race was inducted into WWE’s Hall of Fame in 2004, as well as the Professional Wrestling Hall Of Fame that year.
Race’s official Twitter account has since been updated with the following information:
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 had been suffering from health issues in recent years, and was recently hospitalized after being removed from a convention appearance at Knoxville’s Fanboy Expo. WWE.com is reporting Race’s death was from complications from lung cancer.
Earlier this year, Ric Flair revealed Race was diagnosed with cancer, and Championship Wrestling From Hollywood’s David Marquez later gave an update, noting that it was not terminal. Marquez posted the following statement in March on behalf of the family:
I’ve just spoke to Harley Race’s family and it’s true, he has been diagnosed with Lung Cancer, but it’s not terminal. He’s being treated and supervised by his doctors. He is still very active in the Harley Race Wrestling Academy and his promotion World League Wrestling. Also, next weekend’s NWA Worlds Championship match at WLW’s “Night of Champions” is still on and previously I’ve already made plans to attend. Harley and his family appreciates everyone’s concern and asks that the public to allow him his space to rest.
Today the world lost one of the toughest men ever to walk God's green earth.
RIP Harley Race!
8X NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion.
The entire sport of professional wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Harley. pic.twitter.com/rEiHknbYn1
— NWA (@nwa) August 1, 2019