WWE's Leon White, known as Vader in the ring, dead at 63

"It is with a heavy heart to inform everyone that my father, Leon White, passed away on Monday night (6/18/18) at approximately 7:25pm," one of White's children wrote in a tweet on Wednesday.

The WWE star had experienced a number of health issues in recent months, including getting open-heart surgery in March, according to ESPN. In another Wednesday tweet, White's child explained that the wrestler developed pneumonia.

"Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of pneumonia," one of White's children wrote in a Wednesday tweet. "He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time."

A former college football player for the University of Colorado, White went on to play for the Los Angeles Rams until knee issues sidelined his NFL career.

His wrestling career took off in Japan in the '80s, according to ESPN. He entered the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling in 1990, and joined what's now known as WWE in 1996.

"We didn't call Vader the MASTADON for nothing," WWE wrote in a Wednesday tweet, along with a video of White - in his signature strapped leather mask - demolishing the wrestler Sting.


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