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WWE announced that Hall of Famer and first ever Intercontinental Champion Pat Patterson died on Wednesday, December 2 at the age of 79.
The cause of death was not revealed, but according to reports, Patterson had recently been battling cancer.
Patterson made his WWE debut in 1979 and quickly made an impact as he became the first Intercontinental Champion in September of that year.
After hanging up his boots in 1984, Patterson worked behind the scenes in WWE for decades and served as WWE chairman Vince McMahon’s right-hand man. Patterson is known for creating one of the most popular matches in WWE history, the Royal Rumble match.
Patterson’s last WWE on-screen appearance came on a July 2019 edition of Monday Night RAW, where he won the 24/7 Championship and became the oldest champion in WWE history at the age of 78.
WWE superstars John Cena, Triple H and Shawn Michaels are among those who paid tribute to Patterson after news of his death circulated online.