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WWE Champion Leon ‘Big Van Vader’ White Dies at Age 63: Cause of Death?

Updated On 21 Jun, 2018 Published On

Following a two-year battle with congestive heart failure, WWE champion Leon “Big Van Vader” White has died at the age of 63 on Monday, June 18 at approximately 7:25 pm.

The wrestling legend's son, Jessie “Jake Carter” White confirmed Vader's death “with a heavy heart” on his late father’s Twitter account on Wednesday, June 20.

32-year-old Jessie wrote,

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.

In a second tweet, he wrote,

Around a month ago my father was diagnosed with a severe case of pneumonia. He fought extremely hard and clinically was making progress. Unfortunately, on Monday night his heart had enough and it was his time.

Vader is one of about 100 professional wrestlers, including about 50 WWE stars, who have passed away under the age of 65 in the past decade.

Vader, who guest starred on Boy Meets World several times, was diagnosed with congestive heart failure in 2016 and as per the report, he was given two years to live.

He tweeted at the time,

Told by 2.heart Drs at this time that my heart is wore out from footbal&wrestling I have 2 yrs to live , conjestive hesrt failure reality.

In the following year, Vader told The Hannibal TV that after he was given this news, he "had a thousand questions."

He said, "I've been in the gym. I feel OK. I feel pretty good, actually."

At the time, he also said that he would continue wrestling. His last competition was at Dradition Pro-Wrestling in Japan in 2017. Following his decision to take part in a six-man tag team match, he collapsed.

He later tweeted,

It had absolutely nothing to do with my heart but rather my head&Yes i did collapse in fact I was out cold thank uforld jap Wrest i love it...I just passed out ..it definetely had everthing to do with being dropped on my head Tokyo feeling better.

This past March, Vader underwent open-heart surgery,

At the time he shared a photo of his wounds and wrote,

They had me but I KICKED out 2 The surgeon confessed he had A few to many that's why the scar is off center I OWE THAT MAN M LIFE THANK U JESUS.

Check it out.

Before he gained fame on wrestling, Vader briefly also had a football career. In 1978, he was drafted as a center by the Los Angeles Rams.

During his second season, Vader played against Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XIV. Soon after due to a ruptured patella, he was forced to retire from the NFL.

Vader began his wrestling career as part of the American Wrestling Association in 1985. Two years later, he joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling before he returned to the U.S. and signed with World Championship Wrestling in 1990.

He became a three-time WCW world heavyweight champion.

Rest in peace Vader!