WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race Passes Away

Harley Race

Harley Race, a WWE Hall of Famer and eight-time NWA World Heavyweight Champion, died today at the age of 76.

The wrestling legend’s death was confirmed this afternoon in a statement from the Twitter account for Race.

Race had been in and out of the hospital for the past several years due to a variety of health problems. Earlier this year, one of Race’s greatest rivals and contemporaries, Ric Flair, told a crowd at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey that Race got diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, a claim he’d later call “misinformed.” He was hospitalized for more than one week in July due to health issues that came up while he was traveling to Knoxville, Tennessee for a pop culture convention.

During his career as a wrestler, Race worked for all of the major wrestling promotions, including the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In addition to holding the NWA World Heavyweight Championship eight times, he was the first NWA United States Heavyweight Champion, which is now known as the WWE’s United States Championship.

Race is considered by many wrestlers, promoters and fans as one of the best professional wrestlers of all time. He is one of six men inducted into each of the WWE Hall of Fame, the NWA Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.