Vader says he has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure and has less than two years to live.
Vader made a post on his Twitter account Monday to announce the news:
Vader is a former WCW World Champion and IWGP Heavyweight Champion, holding each title on three occasions. He also is a two-time Triple Crown Champion for All Japan. After a football career that included playing for the University of Colorado in college and the Los Angeles Rams in the NFL, Vader -- whose real name is Leon White -- got his start in the wrestling business in the mid 1980s in the AWA. He adopted the Vader persona after making his debut in New Japan Pro Wrestling, and was one of the top foreign talents in Japan for several years in addition to becoming a main eventer for WCW in the 1990s. Vader also spent time with WWE during the onset of the Attitude Era, between 1996 and 1998. He has made sporadic appearances for WWE since, last wrestling on TV in 2012 in a match against Heath Slater.
Billed at more than 400 pounds, in his prime, Vader showcased tremendous athleticism that belied his super heavyweight frame with a repertoire that included a top rope moonsault, which was voted the "best move" by the Wrestling Observer in 1993.
Now 61 years old, Vader remains active on the independent circuit and had a much-publicized match with Will Ospreay in England that stemmed from an argument between the two over social media.