WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race passes away age 76

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WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race has sadly passed away today at the age of 76.

Initially announced by AEW, WWE has confirmed that the Hall of Famer has died due to complications from lung cancer. Race confirmed back in March that he was battling lung cancer.

AEW said in their statement on Race's passing: "AEW is saddened to learn that Pro Wrestling Hall of Famer Harley Race has passed away. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and fans at this difficult time."

WWE said in their statement: "WWE is saddened to learn that WWE Hall of Famer Harley Race passed away today at age 76. WWE extends its condolences to Race’s family, friends and fans."

Race was a huge part of the National Wrestling Alliance during the 1970s and 1980s, as he captured the NWA World Heavyweight Championship seven times, which stood as a record until longtime rival Ric ​​​​​​Flair broke it in 1991.

During his time in NWA, the WWE Hall of Famer won the oldest World Heavyweight Championship in wrestling from the likes of Dory Funk Jr., Giant Baba, Terry Funk, Dusty Rhodes and Flair.

He was also involved in title unification matchups against WWE Champions like "Superstar" Billy Graham and Bob Backlund.

Race joined WWE in 1986 during the company's national expansion and won the second King of the Ring tournament that year, becoming the first to don regal robes and a crown.

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As 'King' Harley Race, he was managed by Bobby 'The Brain' Heenan and faced many of WWE's top faces at the time, most memorably pinning Junkyard Dog at WrestleMania III.

Race left WWE in 1989, and after a brief stint on the independent scene, he joined WCW in 1990, defeating former NWA World Heavyweight Champion Tommy Rich and competing at several house shows.

At 1991's The Great American Bash, he became the adviser/manager to Lex Luger, helping him win the WCW World Heavyweight Championship. He also managed Big Van Vader, Super Invader and Vinnie Vegas (Kevin Nash).

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Race would return to the ring a final time on a trio of Florida house shows in November 1993, substituting in for an injured Vader to face his former rival Ric Flair. Flair won each match and these would be Race's last wrestling matches of his career.

Race would go on to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2007 and he's widely regarded as one of the most loved and respected wrestlers that has ever lived.

RIP Harley Race, you will be missed.

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