According to a report on WWE.com, the first Intercontinental Champion in WWE history, Pat Patterson, born Pierre Clermont, has passed away at the age of 79.
Statement from the WWE:
“WWE is saddened to learn that Pat Patterson has passed away at the age of 79.
A true trailblazer of the industry, Patterson was linked to many “firsts” in sports-entertainment throughout his storied career, including the first-ever Intercontinental Title reign and the creation of the Royal Rumble Match. In a career spanning six decades, the renaissance man left an indelible mark on the industry in the ring, on the microphone and behind the scenes.”
A career that spanned six decades, Patterson was known to many younger, attitude-era fans, as one of Vince McMahon’s “henchmen” along with fellow “stooge”, Gerald Brisco. However, that era would be a fond memory at best to the accomplishments Patterson had throughout his long career.
Patterson debuted in the WWE in 1979 winning the aforementioned first Intercontinental Championship as well as the WWF North American Championship in his first year. He retired as an active in-ring performer in 1984 and took on several roles within the company including, but not limited to, commentary, producing, and the duties of a road agent. He was often described as McMahon’s “right-hand man” and is credited for booking the first Royal Rumble.
“The first Royal Rumble was on January 24, 1988, in Hamilton, Ontario. The difference between WWE’s Royal Rumble and a traditional over-the-top-rope battle royal is that the participants come into the match at two-minute intervals — not all at the same time at the beginning of the match. I wanted to create something special.”
He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1996 and just last year became the oldest champion in WWE history when he won the 24/7 Title at 78.