WWE Hall-of-Famer ‘Superstar’ Billy Graham has died.
The news comes just days after Graham’s wife, Valerie, provided fans with a sombre update about his condition.
She said that his condition had deteriorated so much he’d been put on life support.
Sadly, his death at the age of 79 has now been confirmed.
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Graham passed away following a long battle with a multitude of health problems.
The legendary wrestler had been hospitalised for several months, grappling with severe health issues that ultimately led to his demise.
Supporters rallied by setting up a GoFundMe page to assist Graham and his family during this difficult period.
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On Wednesday, Graham’s family informed TMZ that he had been taken off life support and peacefully passed away with his wife and daughter by his side.
The news initially broke on Twitter when 16-time World Champion Ric Flair expressed his gratitude to Graham, acknowledging the departure of the wrestling superstar.
Graham had been admitted to the hospital in January after developing an ear infection that subsequently spread to his ear bones and skull.
In addition to this ailment, he was also battling acute kidney failure, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and hearing loss, among other health complications.
Valerie, Graham’s wife, had previously provided updates on his condition via his official Facebook page, sharing that she had initially refused to discontinue life support, emphasising Graham’s resilience and willpower.
Before making a name for himself in the wrestling industry, Graham, whose birth name was Eldridge Wayne Coleman, attempted a career in the Canadian Football League.
However, it was his remarkable bodybuilding journey that propelled him to fame.
Graham began his wrestling career in 1969, signing with various promotions before making his debut with the WWE (then known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation) in 1975.
His distinctive appearance and persona influenced numerous popular wrestlers of that era, including Austin Idol, Jesse Ventura, Hulk Hogan, and Ric Flair.
As wrestling surged in popularity in the 1980s and 1990s, stars like Steve Austin and Triple H adopted Graham’s style and mannerisms.
During his WWE tenure, Graham secured the WWWF World Heavyweight Championship in 1977.
In 2004, he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame alongside Jesse Ventura and Sgt. Slaughter.
However, Graham was not without controversies. He openly admitted to using anabolic steroids, claiming to have been an early adopter of their use within the WWE.
Later, he embarked on a public awareness campaign highlighting the dangers associated with these drugs.
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Graham’s health struggles spanned over two decades.
He faced numerous liver issues, including the need for transplants, and was diagnosed with third-stage liver disease and cirrhosis in 2012.
Since then, he had been hospitalised for pneumonia, potential heart failure, liver complications, internal bleeding, and other medical complications.
In 2022, he underwent an amputation of the toes.
According to the GoFundMe page, Graham had been away from home for four months, receiving treatment at a rehab centre or hospital.
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