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WWE Legend Bruno Sammartino Dies at Age 82

Bruno-Sammartino dies
Bruno Sammartino in victory after a match in the 1970s. Focus on Sport/Getty Images

WWE legend Bruno Sammartino has died at the age of 82.

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The WWE confirmed the news that the Hall of Famer, whose nickname was “The Living Legend,” passed away on Wednesday, April 18. According to CBS Pittsburgh, Sammartino died peacefully with his wife and his twin sons, Darryl and Dan, by his side. He had reportedly been battling health issues for the past two months.

WWE Hall of Famer Bruno Sammartino MediaPunch / BACKGRID

The sports entertainer first rose to fame in 1959 when he began working with wrestling promoter Vince McMahon, and in 1963, he became the second-ever WWE Champion. He held that title for almost eight years – he still holds the record for longest reign ever in the history of wrestling.

Sammartino was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 by Arnold Schwarzenegger after he headlined and sold out Madison Square Garden 188 times. According to the WWE, he retired from the ring in 1981 and a few years later he returned as a broadcaster until 1988. The WWE and its stars have been sending an outpouring of love and support to the wrestling star and his family. “WWE extends its condolences to Sammartino’s family, friends and fans,” the company wrote via their website.

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McMahon tweeted: “One of the finest men I knew, in life and in business. Bruno Sammartino proved that hard work can overcome even the most difficult of circumstances. He will be missed. #RIPLivingLegend.”

“RIP Bruno, thank you for loving and living our business, only love HH,” Hulk Hogan tweeted.

“Bruno is indirectly responsible for where I am today. Growing up in Pittsburgh, he was my father’s hero, and sparked my dad’s passion for the business that he passed on to me,” Corey Graves wrote via Twitter. “I was lucky enough to spend some time with Bruno, and the man exemplified class. #RIPBruno.”

“Devastated to hear the passing of a true icon, legend, great, honest and wonderful man,” professional wrestler Triple H also tweeted. “A true friend…and one of the toughest people I’ve ever met. My thoughts are with his entire family. #RIPBrunoSammartino #AmericanDream.”

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The City of Pittsburgh, where Sammartino lived during his adult life, took to Twitter to honor the legend: “We lost another legend today. @citypgh & South Oakland will always be home to Bruno Sammartino. May he Rest In Peace. #RIPBrunoSammartino.”

The wrestler is survived by his wife Carol and his sons David, Darryl and Dan Sammartino.

Scroll down below to see other stars react to Sammartino’s passing.

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