WWE announced Thursday afternoon that Virgil Runnels, aka “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, passed away today at the age of 69.

WWE’s statement reads, “WWE is deeply saddened that Virgil Runnels, aka “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes ? WWE Hall of Famer, three-time NWA Champion and one of the most captivating and charismatic figures in sports entertainment history ? passed away today at the age of 69.

“Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit. Moreover, Runnels was a dedicated father to WWE Superstars Goldust (Dustin Runnels) and Stardust (Cody Runnels), a caring husband and a creative visionary who helped shape the landscape of WWE long after his in-ring career had ended.

“WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Runnels’ family, friends and colleagues.”

Triple H broke the sad news on Twitter.

We here at Wrestling Inc. send our sincerest condolences to Runnels’ family, friends and fans.