WWE Hall of Fame superstar Harley Race died today at the age of 76. The cause of death was complications from lung cancer.
Race was one of the greatest wrestlers in NWA history, a seven-time world champion who beat names like Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair and later in his career enjoyed success in WWE as King Harley Race.
Following his death, the NWA delivered a touching tribute to Race, calling him “one of the toughest men to ever walk God’s green earth.”
Today the world lost one of the toughest men ever to walk God's green earth.
RIP Harley Race!
8X NWA Worlds Heavyweight Champion.
The entire sport of professional wrestling and the National Wrestling Alliance sends its deepest condolences to the family and friends of Harley. pic.twitter.com/rEiHknbYn1
— NWA (@nwa) August 1, 2019
They also released a touching tribute video for Race.
WWE also released some tributes to Harley Race, including an article on their website with iconic photos of the superstar as well as a series of videos on their YouTube page of his career highlights.
WWE chairman Vince McMahon and Triple H each sent out their condolences, with McMahon calling Race “the King of his profession” and Triple H saying the man “commanded RESPECT.”
Harley Race was literally the King of his profession for 25 years. Long live the King. pic.twitter.com/nY3V5hyp3N
— Vince McMahon (@VinceMcMahon) August 1, 2019
Everything about Harley Race commanded RESPECT…
Today our world mourns with all the RESPECT you deserve…
One of my favorite people in the business and in life.
See you down the road, my friend.#LegendsNeverDie#ThenNowForever https://t.co/l1q2eD7XAl
— Triple H (@TripleH) August 1, 2019
After that, several WWE and NWA superstars sent out their condolences and memories of the great Harley Race.
Nick Aldis, the current NWA world champion posted a photo of the two men together. Cody Rhodes, whose father had legendary battles with Race in the ’70s thanked Harley for everything he did for the industry.
— Nick Aldis (@RealNickAldis) August 1, 2019
Thank you Harley. So many legends in the industry will tell you he was the toughest to ever do it. He never stopped giving. I remember when he managed Vader in wcw, he would still try and scare me backstage. Ten pounds of gold never looked better on anybody. https://t.co/Q1qq4qEeGT
— Cody (@CodyRhodes) August 1, 2019
The son of Big Van Vader, who Harley Race managed in WCW when Vader won the world title there, said his dad learned a lot from Race, who he said was one of two real mentors to his dad.
My Father learned from many but he always said he had two real mentors in the business. Harley Race was one of them. Harley was one of the greatest to ever lace them. Thank you for what you’ve done for this business and thank you for everything you’ve done for my Family. pic.twitter.com/Zpm4FAQWtR
— Big Van Vader (@itsvadertime) August 1, 2019
Sean Waltman posted a video clip of promos and a match between Harley Race and Dusty Rhodes.
Here are other tributes from around the wrestling world.
On January 25th 1993 in met a great man who became a great friend and mentor. A proper man in and out of the ring. One of the true greats. Harley Race passed today. I will be forever grateful for the time I’ve spent with him.
— William Regal (@RealKingRegal) August 1, 2019
#RIP Harley Race. This is why we should not throw the term Legend around freely. It needs to be saved for people like Harley who truly are.
— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) August 1, 2019
— Booker T. Huffman (@BookerT5x) August 1, 2019
The Hart family loves you forever King Harley Race. Grateful I got to tell you what you meant to my grandfather Stu Hart, who adored you. My thoughts and prayers to Harley’s family today🙏 pic.twitter.com/t5PqOJW0Lx
— NattieByNature (@NatbyNature) August 1, 2019
RIP Harley Race. In a day and age where real men seem to be an endangered species, he embodied every bit of the word “real” in and out of the ring. A rough, tough man and a gentleman. Honored to have known him. Godspeed. #RIPHarley
— Frankie Kazarian (@FrankieKazarian) August 1, 2019
RIP to a true legend and Icon of this business, “Handsome” Harley Race. If you’re a true student of the game, then at some point you studied Harley Race. Thank you Harley for your kindness, your respect and for paving the way! pic.twitter.com/tHlTWVD2iK
— Hurricane Helms (@ShaneHelmsCom) August 1, 2019
So Sad To Hear Harley Race Has Passed😔Wonderful Man That I Admired & Loved❤️He Taught Me So Much In & Out of The Squared Circle #RIP Champ🙏🏻
— SGT SLAUGHTER (@_SgtSlaughter) August 1, 2019
So sorry to hear about one of the TRUE GREATS, Harley Race passing away.
He was one of my hero’s for many reasons.
There will never be another one like him!!
My condolences to his family, friends and fans.
— Michael PS Hayes (@MichaelPSHayes1) August 1, 2019
One if the true pioneers of displaying toughness, skill, talent, credibility & physicality in a wrestling ring. That’s who #HarleyRace was…complete Champion, Legend, Icon. #RIP pic.twitter.com/quiN1Z5WfM
— TAZ (@OfficialTAZ) August 1, 2019
The wrestling world has lost another legend and I have lost a dear friend and mentor. RIP Harley Race. You are loved and will be very much missed. https://t.co/KDJzcQY2sI
— Ted DiBiase (@MDMTedDiBiase) August 1, 2019
The wrestling world lost a true legend today in the iconic Harley Race.