Blackjack Lanza, the 86-year-old former pro wrestler, passed away yesterday on December 8. No cause of death was announced.
WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon issued a rare tweet following his passing, writing, “Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Jack Lanza. He was a man’s man, respected and beloved by all. He worked for and loved WWE for many years. His loyalty and dedication will never be forgotten.”
Lanza’s wrestling career spanned over three decades, from his early days wrestling in St. Louis to the AWA, Mid-Atlantic, WWWF, Georgia, and other federations. As part of The Blackjacks with his long-time tag team partner Blackjack Mulligan, Lanza won the AWA World Tag Team Championship, the WWA World Tag Team Championship, and WWWF World Tag Team Championship and in 2006 he was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan along with his partner.
After his in-ring career was over, Lanza joined the WWE in a backstage role working as a road agent.