Billy Graham, the “Superstar” of professional wrestling, died on Wednesday at the age of 79.
Graham, whose real name is Eldridge Wayne Coleman, had been battling health issues for decades before things went south in February. The tragic news of Graham’s demise was announced by Ric Flair.
Flair took to Twitter and wrote that “The Superstar Billy Graham Just Left US. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR INFLUENCE on My Career!”
Graham had been on life support in the intensive care unit since earlier this month due to multiple infections, organ failure, diabetes, and other ailments that necessitated emergency surgery.
His wife Valerie posted on Graham’s Facebook account Monday morning that the doctors wanted him taken off life support, but she refused.
Graham is a three-time former world champion professional wrestler, with a title run in the WWWF, the New York territory promotion that later became WWE, in 1977-78. In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.
Graham, a steroid user, became a vocal opponent of drugs, particularly during the 1990s when Vince McMahon was embroiled in federal steroid trials, causing a schism between him and the WWE boss.
Fences were eventually repaired in preparation for his induction into the Hall of Fame. His wife and two children survive him.