WWE legend George ‘The Animal’ Steele dies at age 79

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George "The Animal" Steele -{picture courtesy of WWE}

COCOA BEECH , Florida –WWE Hall of Famer George “The Animal” Steele, known for his green tongue and eating turnbuckle pads, has died, the WWE announced Friday. He was 79.

Steele, whose real name was William James Myers, had been in hospice care for almost the last nine months. Last spring he announced via social media that he was dealing with “serious health issues.”

Despite his in-character vocabulary being limited to a handful of one syllable words, Steele had a master’s degree from Central Michigan.

Before becoming a full-time wrestler, he was a teacher and wrestling coach at a high school Madison Heights, Mich. He was later inducted into the Michigan Coaches Hall of Fame.

He briefly played football as an undergraduate at Michigan State before knee issues ended his career.

Steele was inducted in the World Wrestling Entertainment Hall of Fame class in 1995.

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