Professional wrestling super star Pat Patterson, the industry’s earliest publicly gay super star and a prolonged-time lieutenant of publicist Vince McMahon, has died, officials said Wednesday. The member of WWE Hall of Fame was 79 Years old.
Pat Patterson at the 53rd Cauliflower Alley Club Reunification Gathering at the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. on May 1, 2018.
“A true pioneer and trailblazer of the wrestling industry, Pat Patterson was associated to several ‘firsts’ in sports-entertainment all over his historied career,” World Wrestling Entertainment WWE said in a report. “In a career straddling six decades, the revival man left an enduring streak on the industry in the ring, on the microphone and behind the pictures.”
Pro wrestler John Cena stated “he’ll never forget Patterson’s affable character and enthusiasm for life.”
“Pat Patterson inhabited life as it ought to be lived with enthusiasm, love and rationale,” Johan Cena said in a statement. “He aided so many and always amused with a story or gag. He will live on in my life always. Love you Patrick.”
Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, also known as The Iron Sheik, tweeted of his contemporaneous, glorifying Patteron’s “magnificent mind for this business and lovely heart for this world.”
“I don’t know what to say other than I love you,” he wrote. “My heart is shattered. God bless you and your family. Thank you for your camaraderie.”
WWE adjudicator Charles Robinson said he’ll miss imagining his old friend in the ring, backstage, on press row and yet at the karaoke bar.
“One of the greatest brains in the business and just an all-around fantastic guy,” Robinson said. “I will miss him and his singing! RIP my friend. You are a star to countless!”
The young Patterson was hurled out of his home in Montreal after coming out to his parents and did the unimaginable, established to America to get it in the manic-macho world of pro wrestling, he wrote in his 2016 biography, “Acknowledged: How the First Gay Megastar Changed WWE.”
He was the earliest to hold the championship of “Intercontinental Champion” in year 1979, and his early 80s competition with Sgt. Slaughter took professional wrestling to new elevations of fame.
It climaxed in the famed “Alley Fight at Madison Square Garden” in New York City on May 4, 1981.