WWE Hall of Famer and Wrestling Legend George 'The Animal' Steele Is Dead

Another giant of the ring is gone.
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Another giant of the ring is gone.

Thursday one of pro wrestling's all-time greats, George "The Animal" Steele, passed away in Florida. According to TMZ, the wrestler—whose real name was Jim Myers—died after a series of health issues had him in and out of hospice care.  

From 1967 to 1988, Steele cut a formidable and sometimes comic figure in wrestling venues across the nation. In real life he was an articulate and well-educated man who was teaching high school when his career began. In the ring, however, he was a hulking, babbling, incredibly hairy monster, a totally unpredictable brawler who would take on anyone.

Over time Steele grappled with any number of wrestling legends such as Hulk Hogan, but one of his long-time enemies was Randy "The Macho Man" Savage. 

As often happened when wrestling exploded into national popularity in the 1980s, Savage and Steele developed something a real feud, which was based in part on real enmity from Macho Man, whom Steele described as reflexively jealous of Steele's interactions with Savage manager Miss Elizabeth. Steele discussed his problems with Savage in the video below.

Among those who marked his passing was Hulk Hogan, whom TMZ quoted as saying "My brother, only love, only grateful." 

George "The Animal" Steele was 79 years old.