The legendary Pat Patterson, who captivated audiences throughout his career in professional wrestling, has passed away at the age of 79. We aren't sure of the cause of death, but WWE confirmed the news via an official statement, which you can read below. Patterson started his career as Pretty Boy Patterson in NWA in 1958, and over the years and many Championships later would make his way to WWE, where he would not only deliver classic matches (like the Alley Fight against Sgt. Slaughter) but also serve as a producer and consultant behind the scenes. You can find WWE's statement below.
"WWE is saddened to learn that Pat Patterson has passed away at the age of 79. A true trailblazer of the industry, Patterson was linked to many “firsts” in sports-entertainment throughout his storied career, including the first-ever Intercontinental Title reign and the creation of the Royal Rumble Match. In a career spanning six decades, the renaissance man left an indelible mark on the industry in the ring, on the microphone and behind the scenes.
Patterson began his career in 1958 in his native Canada before becoming a fixture in the Bay Area for nearly two decades. After winning the AWA Tag Team Championship with Ray Stevens in 1978, Patterson moved on to WWE. Under the tutelage of The Grand Wizard, Patterson made an immediate impact and became the first Intercontinental Champion in September 1979. Patterson’s most legendary WWE rivalry was undoubtedly his war with Sgt. Slaughter, which captivated the WWE Universe with Boot Camp Matches and a brutal Alley Fight at Madison Square Garden."
Patterson was quite active even after he stopped wrestling matches, as he became a supporting player in the now-iconic feud between Vince McMahon and Stone Cold Steve Austin. That said, he would become Hardcore Champion suddenly in 2000, though in 2005 he would retire from his producer role with WWE. He did stay on as a consultant however, and would pop up here and there for special events.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.