by: Michael Reiner
(WKBN) — A former WWE world champion and pro wrestling legend has died.
WWE Hall of Famer Superstar Billy Graham has died at the age of 79. The WWE announced the news on their website.
Graham’s real name was Eldridge Wayne Coleman. CBS Newshis wife, Valerie, revealed that she refused to take him off of life support. He was battling kidney, heart and lung problems before his death.
Graham had a flamboyant interview style and colorful ring attire. His career in the 1970s helped influence future superstars like Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair.
On April 30, 1977, Graham defeated Pittsburgh fan favorite Bruno Sammartino to win the WWE Championship (the title was previously called the WWWF Heavyweight Championship or World Wide Wrestling Federation Heavyweight Championship).
Graham later became a commentator and on-screen manager on WWE television.
Graham was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2004.