Wrestling Legend Harley Race Passes Away At 76

Rest in peace to the former NWA World Heavyweight Champion.


Wrestling legend Harley Race passed away at 76 years old yesterday.

Race's death came following a tough battle with lung cancer, which Dave Meltzer notes "took a turn for the worst" while 'The King of Wrestling' was preparing for a recent convention in Knoxville, Tenessee.

Best remembered for his role in the National Wrestling Alliance, through whom he rose to prominence in the 1970s, Race is generally regarded among the finest in-ring performers of all time. He's an eight-time World Heavyweight Champion with an aura of badassery matched by few in wrestling history and faced almost every major star in the world during his prime, including legendary clashes with the Funks, Ric Flair, Jumbo Tsuruta, and more.


A world-renowned bruiser for years, Race was older and beaten-down by the time he joined the then-WWF in 1986. His fearsome reputation saw Vince McMahon keep him away from Hulk Hogan at first, but they eventually collided across the country in 1987, with Race taking the loss at every time of asking.

Harley's career started winding down thereafter. Retiring in 1990, he'd go on to manage the likes of Vader and Lex Luger in WCW, with his World League Wrestling school and promotion occupying most of his later years.


WhatCulture wish to extend our deepest condolences to Race's friends and family at this difficult time.

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WhatCulture's Senior Wrestling Reporter. A fan since 1992, still geeking out for everything from WeeLC to mid '80s Jim Crockett Promotions. Give him a follow @andyhmurray. You'll have a great time. Maybe.