It is with deep sadness to announce that Danny Hodge, regarded as one of the best amateur wrestlers of all-time, who transitioned into an extensive professional wrestling career, passed away at the age of 88 on Christmas Day, with his cause of death unknown, however Hodge had been battling dementia for several years.

Hodge, a native of Perry, Oklahoma amassed a 46-0 record with three Big Seven titles and three NCAA titles at 177 pounds and was never taken off his feet as a college wrestler. Hodge competed at two Olympics, winning the Silver Medal in Australia in 1956, before later trying his hand at boxing with wins in the amateur level and professional level and then moving into the wrestling business.

Hodge ended his career in 1976, after a car accident almost cost him his life, however throughout that career Hodge amassed several awards and titles. Hodge was a former eight-time NWA World Junior Heavyweight Champion, three-time NWA North American Heavyweight Champion (Tri-State Version), five-time NWA United States Tag Team Champion (Tri-State Version), twice with Skandor Akbar and once Lorenzo Parente, Luke Brown and Jay Clayton, NWA International Tag Team Champion with Wilbur Snyder and NWA United States Tag Team Champion (Mid-America Version) with Lester Welch.

Hodge received Pro Wrestling Illustrated’s Stanley Weston Award in 1996, was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum in 2007, was inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame class in 2000, received the Cauliflower Alley Club’s Art Abrams Lifetime Achievement Award in 2004 and the Lou Thesz Award in 2007 and was scheduled to be inducted into the International Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame Class of 2021, while NCAA’s annual best wrestler is also named after him.

On behalf of Wrestling-News.Net, we would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Danny Hodge.