WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race Dead at 76

The professional wrestling world lost a legend on Thursday as WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race passed away due to lung cancer at the age of 76.

Race made a name for himself during the 1970s and early 1980s as he won the National Wrestling Alliance Championship seven times. This was a record until Ric Flair broke it in 1991.

When his time in the NWA ended, Race joined the WWF (now known as WWE) in 1986 and he was able to accomplish a lot in only a three-year span. Race was able to win King of the Ring in 1986, he won the Sam Muchnick Memorial Tournament in the same year and he won two Slammy Awards in 1987.

Race's death was confirmed on his Twitter account on Thursday afternoon.

"Today at 12:50, we lost the man that fought up until the very last of his existence," the account said. "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.

The WWE released a statement once it learned of Race's death.

"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.

Race was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004 and he was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994. He's considered by many as one of the best to ever step in the ring and he will be missed.