WWE today announced the passing of Hall of Famer Pat Patterson. No cause of death was published. He was 79 years old.
The Quebec native made his professional wrestling debut in 1958 and joined the WWF in 1979 where he worked until he passed away. Patterson was crowned the first ever WWF Intercontinental champion after a tournament in Brazil that actually never really happened and became a running joke throughout his years there. He transitioned to a manager and then commentator before assuming the role of an agent backstage.
Patterson became one of the most powerful men in the WWE thanks to his close relationship with Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. He came up with the Royal Rumble pay-per-view idea and has worked as a producer on some of the biggest matches in the history of professional wrestling.
The former champion had also several on-screen roles in WWE, most notably as one of the stooges with his friend Gerald Brisco. The two were a major part of the Attitude Era, often being in some hilarious skits or big ass whooping by the likes of Stone Cold Steve Austin and DX.
Last year, at the age of 78, he became the oldest person to win a title after he beat Drake Maverick for the 24/7 title. He eventually lost it a few minutes later to Brisco in another backstage skit at the Raw Reunion show.
Despite being openly gay, WWE never acknowledged it on television until the final episode of WWE Legends House which aired on the WWE Network in June 2014. His longtime partner Louie Dondero died in June 1998 and the two had been together for 40 years.
In the WWE, Patterson won the Intercontinental title, the North American Heavyweight title, the Hardcore title, and the 24/7 title. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame class of 1996.