It is with tremendous sadness that we report that Pedro Morales, former WWE Champion of nearly three years, passed away Tuesday at the age of 76.
In his near three decades as an active wrestler beginning in 1959, Morales would reach incredible heights, most notably with the then-World Wide Wrestling Federation in the 1970s and early 1980s.
On February 8, 1971, Morales became the fourth man to hold the WWE Championship when he defeated Ivan Koloff for the title at Madison Square Garden. Morales reigned with the title for two years and ten months (1,027 days in all) before dropping the gold to Stan Stasiak in December 1973 in Philadelphia.
In WWE, Morales would also win Tag Team gold with Bob Backlund, and held the Intercontinental title on two occasions, the second of which ranks as the second-longest in WWE history at around 14 months between November 1981 and January 1983.
With his first IC title win in December 1980, Morales became the first Triple Crown winner in WWE history, and the only one to do so until Bret Hart matched his feat in October 1992.
Elsewhere in wrestling, Morales won numerous titles in Puerto Rico’s WWC, Los Angeles’ WWA, and NWA San Francisco, where he formed a popular tag team with Pepper Gomez, with whom he won San Francisco’s version of the NWA World Tag Team titles twice.
Morales was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995.