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Blackjack Lanza passes away at 86 years old

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Jack Lanza, best known as one half of The Blackjacks with Blackjack Mulligan, has passed away at the age of 86.

Jim Ross confirmed the news on his Twitter account this morning.

“Just heard from old Winnipeg friend Bob Holliday that Jack Lanza has passed away at the age of 86,” he wrote. “Jack was our lead agent during the Attitude Era. Helluva hand.”

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Jack Lanza. He was a man’s man, respected and beloved by all," Vince McMahon wrote on Twitter. "He worked for and loved WWE for many years. His loyalty and dedication will never be forgotten."

Trained by Verne Gagne, Lanza entered professional wrestling in 1961, originally teaming with Bobby Duncum. It wasn’t until the 1970s that he and Blackjack Mulligan began to team up, and were eventually managed by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan. Together, they held multiple territorial tag team titles, including a title reign in the WWWF in 1975.

The Blackjacks eventually broke up in 1984, and the following year Lanza retired as an in-ring talent. He later returned to the WWE as a road agent/producer. He, along with Mulligan, were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2006. Mulligan died in 2016.