One of the most feared monsters of the squared circle has fallen. Vader, a wrestling legend who found fame in WCW, and WWE, passed away due to pneumonia after a two-year battle with congestive heart failure. He was 63.
“It is with a heavy heart to inform everyone that my father, Leon White, passed away on Monday night (6/18/18) at approximately 7:25pm,” Jesse White, the son of Vader, tweeted through the official Vader Twitter account on June 20. Vader had been dealing with congestive heart failure for years and according to Jesse, his time had finally come. “Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of Pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time.”
Leon – who also competed in the ring under the name Big Van Vader – eerily predicted this day back in November 2016. “Told by two heart doctors at this time that my heart is [worn] out from football and wrestling. I have two years to live. Congestive heart failure [is a] reality.” Vader actually underwent open-heart surgery in March 2018, according to TMZ, and he told the publication that he was “feeling better and looking forward to getting out of the hospital.” He was also reportedly really nice to the publication.
Vader was one of the biggest stars of the pro-wrestling world. He was a 3-time WCW heavyweight champion and his feuds with wrestlers like Sting, Cactus Jack and Dusty Rhodes are the stuff of pro-wrestling legend. In the WWE, he fought against Superstars like Shawn Michaels, The Undertaker and Kane. He was also a huge star overseas, finding massive success in Europe and Japan.
Our thoughts are with Vader’s family, friends and fans during this time of loss.
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