Wrestling Legend Danny Hodge Passes Away At 88 Years Old

Legendary collegiate and professional wrestler Danny Hodge has passed away at the age of 88.

Stacy Ewy Wilson, Hodge's granddaughter, shared the news on Facebook this morning, writing the following:

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Danny Hodge, my amazing Grandfather, passed away on Christmas Eve. To say I am heartbroken is an understatement. This man was my hero....my everything! I have so many great memories and am so truly blessed God gave us such a wonderful man to lead our family. I have never met anyone more thankful, humble and kind than my grandfather.

Christmas was his favorite time of year! This year while we are hurting...Grandpa is experiencing the ultimate Christmas with our God. I have no doubt that he will receive his “job well done”.

I love each of you and appreciate all of your kind words. You are welcome to share your memories or photo

As Grandpa ALWAYS said... God Bless You!

(Donations can be made in his memory to the Perry Wrestling Moment Park.)

Hodge was an acclaimed collegiate wrestler at the University of Oklahoma, where he went a perfect 46-0. For three consecutive years from 1955-1957, he won the Big Seven Conference and NCAA Championships at 177 pounds. He remains the only amateur wrestler to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

He transitioned to the world of professional wrestling, debuting in 1959 after being trained by Leroy McGuirk and Ed "Strangler" Lewis. Hodge held the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion eight times for a cumulative total of over ten years. In 2007, he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2005 and 2012 he appeared on WWE RAW to honour fellow Oklahoma wrestling native Jim Ross. The AEW announcer, along with other industry greats shared their sadness over the news.

Hodge will be inducted into the International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame as part of its inaugural class on August 28, 2021. The list of 24 honorees includes the likes of Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Andre the Giant, and Bruno Sammartino.

On behalf of Fightful, we send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and fans of Danny Hodge. 

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