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.
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.