On November 2, 2007 The Fabulous Moolah passed away. In the world of professional wrestling, one female wrestler will undoubtedly stand above the rest, and her name is Lillian Ellison, better known by fans as The Fabulous Moolah, a legend in the world of wrestling. The Fabulous Moolah had a wrestling career that span over 50 years, starting in the 1940s. She first won the Women’s Title in 1956, and held it for an astonishing 28 years, the longest reign of any champion according to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE).
In the 1980s she joined World Wrestling Entertainment (known then as World Wrestling Federation aka WWF), during the Rock ‘n’ Wrestling Connection. The connection to mainstream culture came about when singer Cyndi Lauper began a verbal feud with wrestling manager Captain Lou Albano, resulting in a match between The Fabulous Moolah (represented by Captain Lou Albana) and Wendi Ritcher (represented by Cyndi Lauper).
During the 1990s and 2000s, The Fabulous Moolah entered semi-retirement, making an occasional appearances in WWE with fellow wrestler Mae Young.
Some of the biggest (and landmark) accomplishments that The Fabulous Moolah achieved during her time in wrestling was holding the Women’s Title for almost 30 years (as mentioned the longest reign of any champion), being the first woman to wrestle in Madison Square Garden in 1972, being the first woman to be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 1995, and being the oldest champion in the history of professional wrestling when at the age of 76 she won the Women’s Championship in 1999 in WWF (now known as WWE).
She died at the age of 84 regarding complication from shoulder replacement surgery, which resulted in a possible blood cot or heart attack. She is buried in Columbia, South Carolina.
Without The Fabulous Moolah paving the way, female wrestlers such as Trish Stratus, Lita, Victoria, Ivory, and Jazz would not be where they are today. The Fabulous Moolah will always be synonymous with women’s wrestling. She got her nickname “The Fabulous Moolah” because when she started out she said she was doing it for the “moolah”… the money.