Patterson had a lasting impact both inside and outside the ring such as becoming the first Intercontinental Champion and also being credited for creating the Royal Rumble match during a career that spanned six decades.
Patterson spent over 25 years in the WWE, and was inducted in to the WWE Hall of Fame back in 1996 by WWE Hall of Famere Bret “Hitman” Hart.
“In his 25-plus years in WWE, Patterson was synonymous with making history” the company said in an official statement. “From the Intercontinental Title to the Royal Rumble Match and beyond, his name will forever be revered in WWE lore. This amazing legacy was captured in Patterson’s 2016 autobiography, Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE, a moving chronicle about his life both inside and out of the ring.
WWE extends its condolences to Patterson’s family and friends.”
Many notable names from the industry took to social media, such as Twitter, to share their condolences.