Young was hospitalized and placed on life support in South Carolina last month after her health started to fail. She was recently placed under hospice care and was breathing with the assistance of a machine, the Post & Courier reported. Young was incorrectly reported to have died last week, but she hung on for five more days before passing away.
“There will never be another Mae Young,” WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon said of Young in a statement. “Her longevity in sports entertainment may never be matched, and I will forever be grateful for all of her contributions to the industry. On behalf of WWE, I extend our sincerest condolences to her family and friends.”
Though Young said she was born in 1923, some friends believe she may have lied about her age and been born four years earlier. Young is the only person to hold the distinction of wrestling in nine different decades. She wrestled in high school in Oklahoma and then made her professional wrestling debut in 1939. She wrestled during and after World War II, and she was a prominent figure in National Wrestling Alliance.
Young, who was known as “The Queen” and “The Great Mae Young,” joined the WWF in 1999. She was named “Miss Royal Rumble 2000″ at age 76 after winning a bikini contest by supposedly taking off her top. She dated Mark Henry as part of a storyline and even got pregnant and delivered a prosthetic hand for a child for the story.
Young was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2004 and the WWE Hall of Fame in 2008. Her last match was an “Old School” edition of RAW in 2010. She continued to be a part of WWE storylines all the way up through last year.
The Post & Courier’s incorrect report last week that Young had died led to an outpouring of positive sentiment from many wrestling figures: