WWE and the NWA have issued statements on the passing of “The Masked Assassin” Jody Hamilton.

As noted, the legendary Hamilton passed away on Tuesday at the age of 82, right after entering hospice care. Hamilton’s son, former WCW/WWE referee Nick Patrick (Joe Hamilton Jr.) announced his father’s passing on Facebook.

“It is with heavy heart that I make this post. At 2:16 today my father took his last breath on this earth. He passed comfortably, surrounded by the people that love him. Now our attention has to shift over to taking care of my mom. I want to thank everyone that sent out prayers and support for my family. I will put more information about pop out, but right now I’m kinda numb,” he wrote.

The NWA remembered Hamilton as a legend whose legacy will live on forever.

“Sending condolences today to the family and friends of The Assassin, Jody Hamilton. Truly a legend in this business whose legacy will live on forever,” the NWA wrote.

WWE issued a lengthy statement to remember Hamilton, noting how he once ran the Deep South Wrestling promotion that operated as a WWE developmental territory. DSW operated as a WWE developmental territory until 2007, but shortly after that DSW ceased operations, and Hamilton filed a lawsuit against WWE over their working agreement for the developmental territory. The suit was settled out of court in early 2010, but terms were never revealed.

You can read WWE’s full statement below:

“The Assassin” Jody Hamilton passes away

WWE is saddened to learn that Jody Hamilton, known to fans as “The Assassin,” passed away at the age of 82.

Following in the footsteps of his brother Larry “The Missouri Mauler,” Hamilton transitioned from amateur boxing and broke into the world of wrestling in the 1950s. By 1958, The Hamilton Brothers had risen up the ranks of the New York based Capitol Wrestling and battled Antonino Rocca and Miguel Pérez in the main event at Madison Square Garden. Just 19 years old at the time, Jody became the youngest grappler to ever co-main event at The World’s Most Famous Arena.

Hamilton would go on to team with Tom Renesto to form the masked duo The Assassins and drew sellout crowds throughout the southeastern United States. The tandem became a force in Georgia Championship Wrestling and held the NWA Georgia Tag Team Titles a record-breaking 12 times.

After Renesto’s retirement, Hamilton would carry on the torch of The Assassins with Ernie Ladd and then “Hercules” Hernandez and claim a collection of tag team championships in the Central States and Mid-South Wrestling Promotions.

An injury forced Hamilton to step away from the ring, but with sports-entertainment in his blood, the veteran would blaze a new path with The Power Plant training center for WCW. Hamilton was instrumental in the development of legendary competitors such as Kevin Nash, Goldberg, Diamond Dallas Page and Big Show.

Following WWE’s acquisition of WCW, Hamilton would continue teaching future Superstars with Deep South Wrestling. His son Nick continued the family tradition as a referee for Georgia Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE.

WWE extends its condolences to Hamilton’s family, friends and fans.

Hamilton was inducted into the WCW Hall of Fame in 1994, and inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2013.

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