Ole Anderson, one of pro wrestling’s ‘Four Horsemen,’ dead at 81

Ole Anderson, a professional wrestler, manager and promoter noted for his blunt, tough-guy persona and a founding member of the “Four Horsemen,” died Monday. He was 81.

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No cause of death was given, and it was unclear where Anderson died.

Anderson was born Alan Rogowski on Sept. 22, 1942, in Minneapolis, CBS Sports reported. Friends and family members shared the news of the wrestler’s death on social media.

The “Four Horsemen,” who as heels ran roughshod in wrestling promotions throughout Southeast promotions, originally consisted of Anderson, Arn Anderson, Tully Blanchard and Ric Flair and were managed by J.J. Dillon. Arn Anderson (real name Martin Lunde), who bore a resemblance to the older Ole Anderson, was his tag team partner as part of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

Ole Anderson originally teamed with Gene Anderson as part of the Minnesota Wrecking Crew.

After a stint in Florida, Ole Anderson wrestled from 1972 to the 1990s with the Georgia Championship Wrestling promotion and World Championship Wrestling.

That was where the Four Horsemen became notorious; other members of the group included Sting, Barry Windham and Lex Luger. Anderson was a master on the microphone during interviews, touting the Horsemen’s ability and belittling opponents.

A common target of his invective was babyface Dusty “The American Dream” Rhodes.

After retiring, Anderson served as an occasional manager for the Horsemen.

Flair paid tribute to Anderson on X, formerly known as Twitter. The Nature Boy, who turned 75 on Sunday, saying he was “forever thankful” to Ole and Gene Anderson for bringing him aboard as a “cousin” in the Crockett promotion.

Fellow wrestler Ricky Morton, was the first to announce Anderson’s death on his Instagram account, calling him “tough as nails.”

In 2003, Anderson published a book, “Inside Out: How Corporate America Destroyed Professional Wrestling.

The original Four Horsemen were inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2012.