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Former WWWF Champion Pedro Morales passes away at 76

Legendary professional wrestler Pedro Morales has passed away at 76 years old.

WWE confirmed Morales' passing shortly after it was reported online today. Morales had suffered from advanced Parkinson's Disease.

Last week marked the 48th anniversary of Morales' WWWF World Heavyweight Championship win, where he defeated Ivan Koloff at Madison Square Garden to win the title. Morales was the first Triple Crown champion in company history, winning the World Heavyweight, Intercontinental, and Tag Team titles during his time with the promotion.

Morales won the title from Koloff on Feburary 8, 1971 and dropped it to Stan Stasiak on December 1, 1973.

Morales was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995 and voted into the Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame in 2017. During his induction, Dave Meltzer wrote that Morales "sold out Madison Square Garden 21 times in 30 title matches, the highest sellout percentage of any major star in the history of the arena except Superstar Billy Graham."

Morales and Bruno Sammartino headlined the WWWF's first Showdown at Shea event in 1972 and wrestled to a draw.

In 1965, Morales defeated The Destroyer to win the WWA World Heavyweight Championship in Los Angeles. He held that title two times in his career.

Morales was born in Culebra, Puerto Rico in 1942 and began his in-ring career in New York at 17 years old.