New York native and Syracuse University alumni Dick Beyer passed away today at 88 years old. Before donning his infamous mask and becoming one of the most feared competitors of his time, Beyer played collegiate football for Syracuse and even appeared in the 1953 Orange Bowl. He earned a masters degree in education and was a teacher and coach up until the day he began wrestling.
It wasn't until 1962 that Dick would be known at the infamous Destroyer and won the WWA Championship that year submitting by Freddie Blassie. He held gold for the AWA, NWA, and All Japan, where spent a great deal of time. During his time overseas he managed to garner a great deal of celebrity as a pro-wrestler and a late-night, Japanese television personality.
He retired from pro-wrestling in the mid-80s and began teaching again in New York for the Akron School District. He was a member on the Cauliflower Alley Club board of directors and inducted Gorgeous George into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2010.
In November of 2017 he was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, presented to those who make distinguished achievements in international relations and promoting Japanese culture abroad.