Bobby “The Brain” Heenan passed away at the age of 72 Sunday due to organ failure caused by throat cancer, according to his obituary in the Tampa Bay Times.
Heenan received the cancer diagnosis in 2002 and had been in remission since 2004, according to his daughter Jessica Solt. “It was just his time,” Solt told the Tampa Bay Times.
Heenan, whose real name was Raymond Louis Heenan, is widely regarded as the greatest manager in WWE history. Wrestlers he managed were dubbed members of the Heenan Family, which included the likes of Big John Studd, King Kong Bundy, “Ravishing” Rick Rude, “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig, the Brain Busters (Arn Anderson and Tully Blanchard), and Harley Race. He also managed the top enemies of Hulk Hogan, most notably King Kong Bundy at WrestleMania II and Andre The Giant at WrestleMania III.
Heenan, who was inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame in 2004, also had a successful run as a WWE commentator. His infectious personality created wildly entertaining segments with fellow WWE Hall of Famers Gorilla Monsoon and “Mean” Gene Okerlund. He also had a brief stint as host of “The Bobby Heenan Show” on USA Network.
Wrestlers past and present posted heartfelt reactions to Heenan’s death. During Monday night’s Raw, the WWE aired an incredible tribute to Heenan, which can be viewed below.