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Pro wrestler 'Tough' Tony Borne dead at 84

Milwaukie, Ore. -- The family of "Tough" Tony Borne says the start of wrestling's golden age died last week at the age of 84 at his home in Oregon.

Borne will be remembered at a public memorial to be held at a later date in his adopted hometown of Milwaukee.

Borne was a huge favorite in the Pacific Northwest during his days on the grappling circuit in the 1950s and 1960s. He also drew large crowds in Mexico before retiring from the ring in the 1970s to go into real estate.

His accolades included 19 Pacific Northwest Tag Team titles, including 10 he shared with partner Lonnie "Moondog" Mayne, The (Portland) Oregonian said Wednesday.

Despite his relatively small size -- 5-foot-9 and around 220 pounds -- Tough Tony delighted crowds with his boisterous persona, which included rubbing his bristly beard in the faces of vanquished opponents.

"He was really larger than life," Mike Rodgers, publisher of the Ring Around the Northwest newsletter, told the newspaper. "When you watched him, you wouldn't dwell on his size."

Copyright 2010 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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