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The Ultimate Warrior dies at 54

Charlotte Observer staff

WWE superstar The Ultimate Warrior died Tuesday night. He was 54.

Warrior, who was born James Brian Hellwig but legally changed his name in 1993 to Warrior, was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame Saturday night in New Orleans.

A statement on the WWE website said, "WWE is shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the passing of one of the most iconic WWE Superstars ever, The Ultimate Warrior. ... We are grateful that just days ago, Warrior had the opportunity to take his rightful place in the WWE Hall of Fame and was also able to appear at WrestleMania 30 and Monday Night Raw to address his legions of fans."

In his final public appearance Monday night, Warrior told the crowd, "No WWE talent becomes a legend on their own. Every man's heart one day beats its final beat. His lungs breathe their final breath. And if what that man did in his life makes the blood pulse through the body of others and makes them believe deeper in something that's larger than life, then his essence, his spirit, will be immortalized by the storytellers -- by the loyalty, by the memory of those who honor him, and make the running the man did live forever.

"I am the Ultimate Warrior, you are the Ultimate Warrior fans and the spirit of the Ultimate Warrior will run forever."

WWE chairman Vince McMahon expressed his sorrow at Warrior's death via Twitter' "We are all so sad that the Ultimate Warrior has passed away. Our heart is with his wife Dana and his two daughters."

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