Death Takes Down the Fabulous Moolah

First Lady of pro wrestling dead at 84
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2007 4:45 AM CST
This 2001 photo provided by World Wrestling Entertainment, shows professional wrestler Lillian "Fabulous Moolah" Ellison. Ellison died Friday, Nov. 2, 2007, according to Dunbar Funeral Home in Columbia,...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Pro wrestling’s "Fabulous Moolah," 30-year champion of World Wrestling Entertainment, has died at 84. Mary Lillian Ellison was the first female wrestler inducted into the WWE’s Hall of Fame. When a promoter asked her why she wanted to wrestle, she answered: “For the money! I want to wrestle for the moolah!” and her stage name was born, The State reports.

Ellison’s wrestling infatuation began with her father’s weekly visits to pro matches in South Carolina. She trained in the 1940s and took the championship in 1956, holding it with brief interruptions until 1984, and recaptured it two more times after that. She was featured in the documentary Lipstick & Dynamite: The First Ladies of Wrestling, and wrote a tell-all autobiography.