Stu Hart

Died October 16th, 2003

Stu Hart, 88
Canadian Press

Calgary Stu Hart, patriarch of Canada's famous wrestling family and the founder of Stampede Wrestling, died Thursday at 88.

Hart had been admitted to Rockyview General Hospital on Oct. 3 for an elbow infection and then developed pneumonia. He also suffered from ailments associated with diabetes and arthritis.

His death Thursday afternoon was confirmed by a spokeswoman for one his wrestling sons, Bret (Hitman) Hart. No details were released.

A talented athlete who played football for the Edmonton Eskimos and a champion wrestler in his own right, Hart became famous for his moves outside the ring.

He founded Stampede Wrestling, the Calgary-based regional circuit which started in 1948 and flourished for decades before the World Wrestling Federation pushed local promoters out of the picture. He was renowned as a trainer of young talent and headed a wrestling dynasty that included sons Bret and Owen (Blue Blazer) Hart.

Family members have said the grappling legend struggled without his lifemate, Helen, who died in 2001 after 53 years of marriage.

Picked by Gentleman Prick.