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WWE Hall of Fame member, and pro wrestling legend Pat Patterson has died according to WWE. He was 79-years-old.

Patterson was the first WWF Intercontinental Champion in history, and was also the creator of the first ever Royal Rumble match. He was also the first openly gay pro wrestler in WWF/WWE history, which was documented in his autobiography titled Accepted: How the First Gay Superstar Changed WWE.

While an active in-ring competitor, Patterson held many titles across multiple promotions. With the American Wrestling Association, he was a Tag Team Champion with Ray Stevens. He also became a Tag Team Champion with New Japan Pro Wrestling and Montreal's Lutte Internationale Wrestling.

With the WWF/WWE, he was the inaugural Intercontinental Champion, the WWF North American Champion, Hardcore Champion, and last year actually won the WWE 24/7 Championship, marking his final championship in his career.

For his in-ring work, he was awarded multiple times from pro wrestling media. Wrestling Observer awarded him with Match of the Year in 1981 for his Alley Fight match with Sgt. Slaughter. While Pro Wrestling Illustrated ranked Patterson as the 110th Best Singles Wrestler of the PWI Years in 2003.

After his in-ring career, Patterson became one of the most instrumental creators in pro wrestling history. He was one third of the creative team behind the scenes for WWF, along with owner Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard. The trio were responsible for some of the biggest moments, creations, and changes in pro wrestling history.

After becoming a backstage employee, Patterson returned to an in-ring role during the Attitude Era of the 1990s.


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