Big Van Vader

American professional wrestler (1955–2018)

Leon Allen White (May 14, 1955June 18, 2018) was an American professional wrestler. He was better known by the ring name, Big Van Vader.

Big Van Vader
BornMay 14, 1955
Lynwood, California, U.S.
DiedJune 18, 2018 (aged 63)
Boulder, Colorado, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Little Bull/Big Vader/Super Vader/Vader
Billed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Billed weight435 lb (197 kg)
Billed fromDenver, Colorado

Wrestling career


Vader began his wrestling career at the World Heavyweight Championship (AWA) in (1985) and remained on the company for two years until (1987). He then traveled to Japan where he was hired by the New Japan Pro Wrestling. Vader won the final competition between eight men against Shinya Hashimoto and was crowned champion. Then a month after being crowned champion, Vader lost the title to the Russian Hashimikov Salman. Then recovered the titled against the winner of Hashimikov- Riki Choshu, thus becoming World Heavyweight Champion again CWA. Vader continued performing in Europe under the name of Otto Wanz. In 1990, Vader returned to America and was hired by World Championship Wrestling, in WCW Vader got a chance to face Sting in the July 12 event The Great American Bash 1992, where Sting defeated, and Vader and crowned as the new world champion heavyweight WCW. After having bloody battles against Mick Foley, Vader faced none other than Hulk Hogan in 1995. After leaving WCW, Vader returned to Japan in 1996.

In 1996, Vader was hired by World Wrestling Federation, Vader appeared at WrestleMania XII, in a fight between six Vader, Owen Hart, British Bulldog vs Yokozuna, Ahmed Johnson and Jake Roberts. Vader's team won the match. Vader faced the champion of the WWF Shawn Michaels at SummerSlam in 1996, and then faced The Undertaker in the Royal Rumble.

1998 to 2012


In 1998 Vader returned to Japan in All Japan Pro Wrestling, then went to the Pro Wrestling Noah between 2000 and 2002 before being hired by Total Nonstop Action Wrestling. Vader turned to work for the WWE in 2003 performing in several episodes of Raw where he retired from the wrestling in 2012.

Health and death


In 2016, Vader was diagnosed with congestive heart failure following a car crash.[1] White went in for heart surgery on March 12, 2018[2] followed by another in May to treat an arrhythmia.[3]

On June 18 2018, after being hospitalized in Boulder, Colorado for a month with pneumonia, Vader died at 63 years old.[3]


  1. "Doctors tell Big Van Vader he has two years to live". November 15, 2016. Archived from the original on November 16, 2016. Retrieved November 15, 2016.
  2. "Former WWE And WCW Star Vader Undergoing Heart Surgery -". Archived from the original on 2018-03-14. Retrieved 2018-06-21.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "'Vader' Leon White dead at age 63".

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