Wrestling legend “Superstar” Billy Graham died Wednesday at the age of 79. No cause was given, but he had been battling health issues for some time and had been hospitalized in intensive care on life support.
Graham, real name Eldridge Wayne Coleman, was a three-time former world wrestling champion, including the 1977-78 title in the WWWF, which eventually became the WWE. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.
His wife, Valerie, announced Monday morning on Graham’s Facebook account that she had refused to withdraw his life support.
Graham entered professional wrestling in the late 1960s. He wrestled until 1987, when injuries and health issues ended his career. He became a TV presenter after leaving the ring.
Graham won the WWWF Championship from Bruno Samartino in April 1977, but lost it to Bob Backlund in February 1978.
Graham was considered an influence on famous wrestlers such as Hulk Hogan, Jesse “The Body” Ventura, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Scott Steiner, and Ric Flair, among others.
He is survived by his wife and two children.