WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales has died at the age of 76.
WWE.com confirmed Morales' death with an official statement:
WWE is saddened to learn WWE Hall of Famer Pedro Morales has passed away.
A native of Culebra Island, Puerto Rico, Morales moved to New York in his youth and debuted in the ring in 1959 at age 17. After establishing his reputation as a fiery competitor in WWE on the east coast, Morales traveled west to territories in Texas and California, where he competed for much of the 1960s. In California, he battled The Destroyer in a famous rivalry, and formed a popular tag team with Pepper Gomez.
WWE extends its condolences to Morales’ family, friends and fans.
Morales wrestled for numerous promotions throughout his career from 1959-87. He had two prominent runs in WWE from 1970-75 (when it was known as the World Wide Wrestling Federation) and from 1980-87.
In 1971, Morales became the fourth man to hold the WWE heavyweight championship by defeating Ivan Koloff. The Puerto Rican superstar held the title for more than two years before losing to Stan Stasiak in December 1973.
Morales was also WWE's first triple-crown winner as a two-time intercontinental champion and a tag team champion with Bob Backlund.
WWE inducted Morales into its Hall of Fame in 1995. He was also inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2015.