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Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Dr. Death" Williams dies RIP

Steve Williams, a former Lakewood High School and University of Oklahoma star athlete who fought his way to fame as professional wrestler "Dr. Death," died late Tuesday night in Denver after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 49.

As a well-known pro wrestler during the 1980s and '90s, Williams played a heel, the bad guy, in several U.S. circuits and became a huge draw in Japan. Word of his death rippled through the pro wrestling world Wednesday, with recent stars Kevin Nash and Chris Jericho, among others, posting condolences.

A two-time Colorado prep wrestling champion, Williams went on to a standout career at Oklahoma. He was a four-time NCAA All-America heavyweight, and an all-Big Eight Conference offensive guard.

in football for coach Barry Switzer in 1982.

Williams was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2003 and was told he had six months to live. A 2005 surgery removed a tumor, along with his voice box and larynx.

"I knew my choice was either to live or to die," Williams told The Denver Post in 2008. "I decided I was going to fight. God became my tag-team partner."

Williams said earlier this year he'd been cancer-free since 2005. And friends were helping him raise money for an artificial voice box.

"I'm hoping by Christmas. It would be a heck of a Christmas present," he said then. He was given the voice box at a Colorado Springs wrestling event in the fall. But the cancer returned.

Williams, who was living with his mother in Lakewood at the time of his death, is also survived by a son, Wyndam, and two brothers, Jeff and Jerry.

from the denver post

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