Former WWE and NWA star “Outlaw” Ron Bass (Ronald Heard) passed away yesterday in Tampa, reportedly due to complications from surgery. He was 68 years old.
Bass had been hospitalized after suffering a burst appendix but reportedly waited a week before seeking medical attention as he was not aware of the bust, according to PWInsider.
WWE issued the following statement on his passing:
“Outlaw” Ron Bass passes awayWWE is saddened to learn that Ronald Heard, known to sports-entertainment fans as “Outlaw” Ron Bass, has passed away at the age of 68.
Debuting in 1975, the tough Texan performed in several NWA territories, including Jim Crockett Promotions and Florida Championship Wrestling.
It was in 1987 that Bass rose to national fame in WWE. With his ruthless attitude and dreaded bullwhip, Bass battled against classic fan favorites like Junkyard Dog and Brutus “The Barber” Beefcake. He even claimed a pinfall victory over a young Shawn Michaels in the 1988 King of the Ring tournament.
Following his retirement from the ring in 1991, Bass earned a bachelor’s degree from Arkansas State University and became a successful construction equipment salesman.
WWE extends its condolences to Heard’s family, friends and fans.