Verne Gagne

American professional wrestler and football player (1926–2015)

Laverne Clarence "Verne" Gagne (February 26, 1926 – April 27, 2015) was an American professional wrestler, football player, wrestling trainer, and wrestling promoter. He was the owner and promoter of the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based American Wrestling Association (AWA). He remained in this position until 1991, when the company folded.

Verne Gagne
Gagne in 1964
Birth nameLaverne Clarence Gagne
Born(1926-02-26)February 26, 1926
Robbinsdale, Minnesota, United States
DiedApril 27, 2015(2015-04-27) (aged 89)
Bloomington, Minnesota, United States
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Verne Gagne
Billed height5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)[1]
Billed weight215 lb (98 kg)[1]
Trained byTony Stecher
Joe Pazandak
DebutMay 3, 1949

Death of Helmut Gutmann


On January 26, 2009, Gagne got into an altercation with Helmut Gutmann, a 97-year-old resident of the Bloomington, Minnesota facility where they both resided. According to Gutmann's widow, who was not present during the altercation, Gagne picked Gutmann up and hurled him to the floor, then broke his hip by pulling back on his body. Gutmann was admitted to the hospital, and died on February 14 from complications of the injury.[2]

On February 25, 2009, the older man's death was officially ruled a homicide by the Hennepin County medical examiner's office.

On the night of April 27, 2015, Gagne died in Bloomington, Minnesota at the age of 89 from Alzheimer's disease.[3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Verne Gagne's Hall of Fame profile". WWE. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
  2. Walsh, Paul (February 19, 2009). "Famed wrestler Gagne linked to death of man, 97". Minneapolis Star Tribune. Avista Capital Partners. Retrieved February 19, 2009.
  3. "Breaking News: wrestling legend, Observer first year Hall of Famer Verne Gagne passes away at 89". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. April 27, 2015. Archived from the original on August 16, 2015. Retrieved April 28, 2015.

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