WWE legend George 'The Animal' Steele dies at 79

Posted at 11:15 AM, Feb 17, 2017

WWE Hall of Famer William James Myers, known to fans as George "The Animal" Steele, has died, according to WWE. He was 79 years old.

Steele was a high school teacher, wrestling coach and football coach in Detroit before breaking into the sports-entertainment industry. 

While he was teaching, he moonlighted in sports-entertainment while working Detroit-area promotions. His first appearance in WWE came in 1967 where he was involved in a rivalry with Bruno Sammartino, who was the WWE Champion at the time.

Six years later, the football stadium at Madison High School was named "Jim Myers Stadium" in his honor.

A villain for nearly two decades, Steele was embraced by fans in 1985 after The Iron Sheik and Nikolai Volkoff abandoned him during a match.

"Long after his in-ring retirement and WWE Hall of Fame induction, George 'The Animal' Steele's name still evoked terror for one generation of WWE fans and warm smiles for another," according to WWE

He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995 by Doink the Clown.