Ivan Koloff – who wrestled as the villainous “Russian Bear” – has died at age 74, capping off a sad string of losses for the wrestling world.
How did Kloff die?
The day before, wrestler George “The Animal” Steele died of kidney failure.
On February 2, Koloff’s daughter discussed his illness in a GoFundMe site established to help with what she called his “urgent financial need.”
“We have just gotten news from his recent blood work that shows his liver numbers are at an extreme high, his liver function is failing fast and he is starting to have serious signs of liver failure,” she wrote. “My dad was diagnosed with liver disease about 10 years ago and while he has been living with it, he chose not to make this announcement public to his fans and friends.”
Instead, his daughter wrote, “he wanted to follow doctors orders and keep on going out and spreading God’s Word. But doctors are now saying that his liver function is getting worse day by day and it will continue to. There are no other medical options available for my dad for a cure; but he will need to continue to go through tests and monitoring and will be taking medications.This has placed a tremendous burden on my parents both emotional and financial. In previous years, my dad has enjoyed staying busy trying to help as many people as he could, but the time has come now where he is no longer able to go out and make any more appearances.”
Koloff had enjoyed making wrestling appearances, over the years, she wrote, “helping with various fundraisers (such as signing autographs to support Children’s Miracle Network), among other appearances over the years since he retired from wrestling in 1989, earning extra money to offset his disability check. He has enjoyed meeting his fans and friends and having my mom, Renae, travel with him to help him.”