It was reported that George “The Animal” Steele passed away this morning, he was 79 years old. No cause of death has been announced.
As a kid, I remember sitting on Sunday mornings watching WWE and The Animal was one of my favorites, along with the Junk Yard Dog. His persona in the ring was odd because like his nickname suggests, he acted like an uncontrollable animal, tearing apart ring buckles but always stopping to fawn over Miss Elizabeth which would always give Mach Man the time to attack. But the man behind The Animal was someone different. George Steele, real name Jim Myers, was a highly intelligent man, which you probably would not ever figure if you saw his wrestling persona. He had a Master’s Degree in Science from Michigan State University, he was a high school teacher and he coached both football and wrestling while he was a teacher and even in to his 70s he was a motivational speaker.
When I picked up this autograph in 2014 I had decided that I wanted to eventually pick up one of his Leaf Originals autographs, which I have not done, because the image Leaf used on this card is not the best. It is pixelated and the design is just funky, but I am happy to have an Animal autograph in my wrestling collection.