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Harley Race (1943–2019), pro wrestling legend

Twitter / Vince McMahon

Known for his rivalry with Ric Flair

Harley Race was a professional wrestling legend whose popularity peaked in the 1970s and 1980s. The prolific wrestler won the NWA World Championship 8 times, many matches against Dusty Rhodes. He had a memorable feud with Ric “Nature Boy” Flair, leading to a steel cage match in 1983. Race won the King of the Ring tournament in 1986, beating Pedro Morales, and defeated the Junkyard Dog in WrestleMania III. Race went by a few nicknames in the ring, the most popular being “Handsome” Harley Race and “The King.” He was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the NWA and WWE.

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Died: Thursday, August 01, 2019 (Who else died on August 1?)

Details of death: Died at the age of 76 from lung cancer.


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What they said about him: “Harley Race was literally the King of his profession for 25 years. Long live the King.” —Vince McMahon

"Today We Lost Not Only A Great Personal Friend, But In My Estimation The One And Only REAL World Champion. Without Harley Race, There Was No Ric Flair. I Tried My Hardest Every Day To Live Up To His Standard In The Ring." —Wrestling legend Ric Flair

“#RIP Harley Race. This is why we should not throw the term Legend around freely. It needs to be saved for people like Harley who truly are.” —Pro wrestler Lance Storm

“The Hart family loves you forever King Harley Race. Grateful I got to tell you what you meant to my grandfather Stu Hart, who adored you. My thoughts and prayers to Harley’s family today.” —Pro wrestler Natalia Neidhart, a member of the Hart family wrestling dynasty

Full obituary: Bleacher Report

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