Thursday, June 11, 2015

Professional wrestling legend Dusty "The American Dream" Rhodes passes away at age 69

Professional wrestling legend Dusty "The American Dream" Rhodes passed away on Thursday at the age of 69.

Rhodes, born Virgil Riley Runnels Jr., made his professional wrestling debut in 1968 as a tag-team partner with Dick Murdoch. Rhodes went on to become a three-time NWA world champion and was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2007.

"WWE is deeply saddened that Virgil Runnels, aka “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes — WWE Hall of Famer, three-time NWA Champion and one of the most captivating and charismatic figures in sports entertainment history — passed away today at the age of 69.

"Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit. Moreover, Runnels was a dedicated father to WWE Superstars Goldust (Dustin Runnels) and Stardust (Cody Runnels), a caring husband and a creative visionary who helped shape the landscape of WWE long after his in-ring career had ended.

"WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Runnels’ family, friends and colleagues," the WWE said in a statement.

Officials say that emergency personnel responded to Rhodes' Orlando, Florida home at around 5:56 AM Wednesday morning after 9-11 call reported WWE Hall of Famer had taken a fall. Rhodes was transported to a nearby hospital. Sources said that Rhodes suffered "numerous complications" throughout the night before he eventually passed away with family members by his side.

An official cause of death has not been released at this time.

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