Veteran pro wrestler, referee and championship belt designer Reggie Parks has passed away at the age of 87 following a battle with COVID-19.

Bill Apter announced Parks’ passing on Thursday night, and WWE issued a statement this afternoon to pay tribute to Parks. Parks reportedly became suddenly ill this week, and then passed away on Thursday morning at home in Tucson, AZ.

Parks worked for the NWA, AWA and WWE, and later worked as a referee for WWE. He later got into creating championship belts, and created the legendary winged-eagle WWE Title, the classic WWE Intercontinental Title belt, several NWA belts, and many others. Parks created designs for WWE, WCW, UFC and boxing promotions, among others.

Parks was known as “The King of Belts” in the business.

Parks’ official Facebook page noted, “It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of our dear friend and mentor, ‘The King of Belts’ Reggie Parks. Reggie passed peacefully this morning in Tucson, AZ after a short but valiant battle with COVID-19. More information will be made available shortly. Family and friends ask that you respect their privacy and allow them to grieve at this time.”

WWE Hall of Famer Bret Hart paid tribute to Parks on Instagram, remembering Parks as one of the kindest men he’s ever known.

“‘Reg, if ya wanted to try me, why didn’t ya try me?!?’ – My dad falling for one of Owen’s ribs. Reg always loved that story. I knew Reg my whole life, and he was one of the kindest men I’ve ever known. I’ll always miss him. R.I.P,” Hart wrote.

You can see Hart’s full post below, along with WWE’s statement on Parks and the video from Apter, plus a few related videos on Parks:

Legendary sports-entertainer and championship title maker Reggie Parks passes away

WWE is saddened to learn that legendary sports-entertainer and championship title maker Reggie Parks passed away at the age of 87.

Parks spent nearly three decades in the ring as a sports-entertainer working for promoters like WWE Hall of Famer Stu Hart and competing for championships in both the NWA and AWA. He even enjoyed a brief stint competing in a WWE ring before transitioning into the second phase of his career: creating championship titles. Parks would go on to handcraft some of the most famous titles in WWE history, including the “winged eagle” WWE Championship used in the 1980s and ’90s, as well as the classic Intercontinental Championship of the same era. His incredible work in both WWE and WCW crossed over into the worlds of UFC and boxing as well, as he continued to create iconic championship titles for decades.

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

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