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Ex-pro wrestler Mike Graham dies

Mike Graham signs autographs at Tampa’s Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in July 1974. Graham, 61, of Tampa died Friday while visiting eastern Florida.

Times files (1974)

Mike Graham signs autographs at Tampa’s Fort Homer Hesterly Armory in July 1974. Graham, 61, of Tampa died Friday while visiting eastern Florida.

DAYTONA BEACH — Former pro wrestler Mike Graham died Friday while visiting eastern Florida for an annual festival for motorcycle enthusiasts, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reported.

Graham, 61, of Tampa, whose real name was Michael Gossett, held the National Wrestling Alliance and American Wrestling Association light heavyweight titles at the same time in the 1970s. His father, Eddie, was the promoter for Championship Wrestling from Florida. Mike Graham worked with famed fighters Dusty Rhodes and Dory Funk Jr. during his long career.

In June, Graham began hosting a radio show called Talking Wrestling with Mike Graham that aired Saturdays at 6 p.m. on WHNZ-AM 1250.

World Wrestling Entertainment released a statement Friday evening:

"WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of Mike Graham, 61, son of legendary promoter Eddie Graham. While never under contract with WWE, he was part of our extended family. The sports-entertainment world lost a beloved member today."

Ex-pro wrestler Mike Graham dies 10/20/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 20, 2012 12:28am]
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