Former turnbuckle biter George ‘The Animal’ Steele, 79, dies

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In this 2012 file photo, former professional wrestler George "The Animal" Steele bites the baseball before throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before a baseball game. The WWE Hall of Fame member, whose given name was Jim Myers, has died at age 79, the WWE announced Friday. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)

STAMFORD, Conn. — WWE Hall of Fame member George “The Animal” Steele, whose given name was Jim Myers, has died at age 79.

WWE announced Friday the death of Steele, who was living in Florida. The Detroit native had tweeted and blogged in recent months about his declining health. He dealt with the digestive disorder Crohn’s disease for several years.

Sporting a bald head, hairy back and green tongue, Steele was famous for his signature move of sinking his teeth into the turnbuckle pads around the ring. At a Boston Red Sox game in 2012, he pretended to take a bite from the baseball before throwing out a ceremonial first pitch.

Steele was once a Detroit-area high school teacher and coach who received a master’s degree from Central Michigan.