Ole Anderson, founding member of The Four Horsemen, has died

Ole Anderson, a founding member of the famed collective known as The Four Horsemen, has died.(AP Photo/Mel Evans)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Ole Anderson, a professional wrestler whose tough, no-nonsense style led him to become a founding member of the famed collective known as The Four Horsemen, has died, the WWE said. He was 81.

Anderson’s death was disclosed Monday by the wrestling organization’s website, which described Anderson’s approach in the ring as hard-nosed and his demeanor as gruff.

Anderson gained that reputation early in his career as a tag-team champ, paired with partners billed as relatives, including Arn Anderson. They gained notoriety as the tag team known as The Minnesota Wrecking Crew, the WWE said.

The pair later teamed up in the 1980s with Ric Flair and Tully Blanchard to form The Four Horsemen, led by manager J.J. Dillon in the NWA wrestling organization. They battled some of wrestling’s biggest names, including Dusty Rhodes, the Road Warriors, Magnum T.A. and Sting, who later became a member of the foursome.

“The group set a standard of style, attitude and success that has inspired every stable that followed,” the WWE said about The Four Horsemen.

Anderson was born Alan Robert Rogowski and he served in the U.S. Army, according to an obituary posted on the website of Carter Funeral Home in Winder, Georgia.

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