Harley Race Wiki, Biography, Age, Family, Height, Net Worth, Fast Facts

Harley Race Wiki, Biography

Harley Leland Race (April 11, 1943 – August 1, 2019) was an American professional wrestler, promoter, and trainer. Race wrestled in the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), the American Wrestling Association (AWA), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE), and World Championship Wrestling (WCW). He was an eight time world champion, having won the WWA World Heavyweight Championship once and the NWA World Heavyweight Championship seven times and was the first NWA United States Heavyweight Champion (now WWE United States Championship).

Race is one of six men to have been inducted into each of the WWE Hall of Fame, the NWA Hall of Fame, the WCW Hall of Fame, the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame.

Race was born in Quitman, Missouri on April 11, 1943. Race was an early fan of professional wrestling, watching programming from the nearby Chicago territory on the DuMont Television Network. After overcoming polio as a child, he began training as a professional wrestler as a teen under former world champions Stanislaus and Wladek Zbyszko, who operated a farm in his native Missouri. While in high school, an altercation with a classmate led to the principal kneeing Race in the back of the head as he tried to break up the fight. Enraged, Race attacked him, resulting in his expulsion. Already 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) and 225 lb (102 kg), Race decided to get his start in professional wrestling. Race then became the driver of Happy Humphrey who was too large to drive at the time.

Race returned to WWE television in 2004 shortly after being inducted into their Hall of Fame. On an episode of Raw, Randy Orton confronted Race and spat in his face, to go with Orton’s “Legend Killer” persona. Race returned again for Raw’s WWE Homecoming episode in October 2005, marking the show’s return to the USA Network. Race, along with the other legends who were in the ring, gave Rob Conway a lesson in respect.

In 2004, Race was recruited to be a part of Total Nonstop Action Wrestling as a member of their NWA Championship Committee. Despite reportedly being an authority figure as a member of the committee, he never made any official decisions and only made the occasional on-screen appearance for the company.

At the WWE Hall of Fame class of 2007 ceremony on March 31, 2007, Race and Dusty Rhodes were “inducted” into the Four Horsemen by Ric Flair and Arn Anderson. On the August 8, 2008 episode of Monday Night Raw, Race sat in the front row and was acknowledged by commentators Michael Cole and Jerry “The King” Lawler. Before the show, Race accompanied then-GHC Heavyweight Champion Takeshi Morishima to the ring for a dark match against Charlie Haas.[

Race was born to sharecroppers Jay Allen Race and Mary Race in 1943. Race married his first wife, Vivian Jones, in 1960. She died five weeks after their wedding in the same car crash in which Race nearly lost a leg. Shortly after Vivian’s death, Race married Sandra Jones, who he briefly mentioned in his 2004 autobiography King of the Ring. This second marriage produced a daughter, Candice Marie, and ended in divorce. His third wife, Evon, divorced him in the early 1990s after over 30 years of marriage. Together they had a son, Justin, who was an amateur wrestler but never participated in professional wrestling. His fourth wife, Beverly (B.J.) was vice president of the Commerce Bank of Kansas City. They married in late 1995, shortly after Race’s career-ending car crash. She often traveled with Race until she died of pneumonia. Race had five grandchildren.

Race continued running World League Wrestling (WLW) and his wrestling camp in Eldon, Missouri. He later moved the businesses to Troy. Many of his trainees were sent to the NOAH promotion in Japan for extra experience. Over the years he needed surgery to his neck, hip replacements, knee replacements and had five vertebra in his back fused together due to the years of taking hard bumps. In May 2017, he broke both legs in a fall at his home, one in several places. He needed four blood transfusions during surgery. Race would continue to promote WLW until his death whilst in rehab.

On March 1, 2019, Race’s close friend Ric Flair announced that Race was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. On August 1, 2019, it was revealed by long time friend Dustin Rhodes that Race had died from lung cancer at the age of 76. He was buried next to his parents and one brother at Quitman Cemetery along Highway 113 in Quitman, Missouri.

Race participated in the 1999 NBC special, Exposed! Pro Wrestling’s Greatest Secrets. His face was covered to conceal his identity as he broke kayfabe and discussed the inner workings of the business. Race’s autobiography, King of the Ring: the Harley Race Story (ISBN 1-58261-818-6), was released on November 19, 2004. Along with Ricky Steamboat and Les Thatcher, Race is author of The Professional Wrestler’s Workout and Instructional Guide.

Race played himself as the distinguished ring announcer for a tag team match involving Mil Mascaras and El Hijo del Santo in the 2007 film Mil Mascaras vs. the Aztec Mummy.

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