Superstar Billy Graham Passes Away At The Age Of 79

WWE Hall of Famer and former WWE Champion “Superstar” Billy Graham has passed away at the age of 79 following a series of serious health issues as of late and fighting for his life in the hospital.

The tragic news was originally announced by WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair and confirmed by TMZ.

Graham had recently been placed on life support after a year that saw the wrestling legend contract COVID-19, a life-threatening ear infection that spread to his skull, inflammation in his lungs, and even renal failure. Graham’s doctors nearly took him off life support two days ago but his wife had refused. 

Graham, real name Wayne Coleman, was a colorful, outsized personality at a time when professional wrestling was still presented as a dry sport. With his bulging muscles, bleached-blonde hair, and tie-dye attire, Graham was seen by many as the first “sports entertainer,” as his garish persona was aped by wrestling legends like Jesse “The Body” Ventura and even Hulk Hogan. Graham was also known for being one of the first wrestlers to heavily use steroids, a practice that Graham later regretted as years of steroid abuse took a toll on his health and the health of other wrestlers. Graham has advocated for its responsible use by past WWE Champions. Graham was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.