Sunday, March 11, 2007

RIP: Ernie "THE CAT" Ladd

CAC member and 2005 honoree, Ernie "THE CAT" Ladd, a talented football player who made his name nationally as a wrestler, died overnight, according to family members.

Ladd, 68, had battled cancer — first in his colon, then later in his stomach and bones — since 2004. Born Nov. 28, 1938, in Rayville, but raised in Orange, Texas, he worked through his final years as a pastor in the Louisiana town of Franklin.

Today, he's the only person in both the American Football League and World Wrestling Federation halls of fame. Ladd is also a 1994 inductee into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame, and joined the San Diego Hall of Champions in 2004.

Ladd began wrestling on the side during his rookie season, and the "Big Cat" found that wrestling paid more, and would give up football for the ring. Ladd ran feuds with the 70's two biggest draws, Andre the Giant and Dusty Rhodes, and was considered a major part of the 1970's wrestling scene.

Funeral arrangements were still pending today, according to Roslyn Ladd, his wife of more than 45 years.

The CAC sends our condolences to the friends and family of Ernie "THE BIG CAT" Ladd.