George “The Animal” Steele broke into WWE in 1967.
Pro wrestling legend George “The Animal” Steele has died at age 79, WWE announced Friday.
Steele, born William James Myers, joined WWE (then known as WWF) in 1967 and initially worked as a heel, though he turned face in 1985.
Steele was born in Detroit and played football briefly at Michigan State. After graduation, Steele pursued a master’s at Central Michigan University. He later became a teacher and wrestling coach at a Detroit-area high school.
Many of Steele’s fellow wrestlers paid their respects on social media.
George"the Animal"Steel,RIP my brother,only love,only grateful. HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) February 17, 2017
Steele’s wife told TMZ that her husband had kidney failure and had been in and out of hospice care since April.
Steele was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995.