Wrestling's First Lady Dies
She reportedly survived a week off life support in her Columbia, SC, home. Young was erroneously reported dead a week ago by a South Carolina newspaper which got incorrect information from a source.
Born Johnnie Mae Young in Oklahoma on March 12, 1923, she started her professional wrestling career in 1939. She eventually went on to train others for the business, including long-time friend Lillian Ellison, more commonly known as Hall of Famer Fabulous Moolah.
In a statement, Vince McMahon said, "There will never be another Mae Young. Her longevity in sports entertainment may never be matched, and I will forever be grateful for all of her contributions to the industry. On behalf of WWE, I extend our sincerest condolences to her family and friends."
Many tweeted their condolences and memories as they heard the news from WWE last night:
I'll always remember Mae Young. We shared wonderful memories of my grandfather. She made me want to fight. There was no one like her.
— Nattie (@NatbyNature) January 15, 2014
RIP Mae Young, an honour and privilege to have known you.
— Lance Storm (@LanceStorm) January 15, 2014
Only Mae Young could fight off the Grim Reaper & give us all so many false finishes like she did this week. Thanks for being you RIP
— Tommy Dreamer (@THETOMMYDREAMER) January 15, 2014
RIP Mae Young. Thanks for all the memories and paving the way
— gail kim (@gailkimITSME) January 15, 2014
Very sad to hear about Mae Young's passing. I had the honor of meeting her last year..she was so sweet & such a beautiful spirit. #RIP
— Thea Trinidad (@TheaTrinidadTMT) January 15, 2014
Every time I saw Mae Young, EVERY TIME, she would greet me with a BIG smile & hug & then say "Now what was your name again?" & laugh! RIP
— MVP (@The305MVP) January 15, 2014
Mae Young will be remembered as a trailblazer who lived life to the fullest, on her own terms. Rest In Peace...
— Lisa Marie Varon (@REALLiSAMARiE) January 15, 2014
She's a wrestling pioneer. I truly had deep affection & respect for "Aunty Mae" Young. RIP. #IMissUMae pic.twitter.com/r9oG9rLw9Z
— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) January 15, 2014
I am heartbroken by the news of Mae Young's passing. She was always such a joy. My thoughts are with her family and friends. #ThankYouMae
— Lilian Garcia (@LilianGarcia) January 15, 2014
Very sad 2Hear of the passing of @WWE Hall of Fame Diva Mae Young. One of the Greatest Women I've ever met. Funny,Sassy&Witty #RIPMaeYoung
— Titus O'Neil (@TitusONeilWWE) January 15, 2014
The legendary Johnnie Mae Young has passed. The Oklahoman lead an amazing life. Her mental/physical toughness is an inspiration to all. RIP
— Jim Ross (@JRsBBQ) January 15, 2014