POSTED: 07:46 p.m. HST, Dec 04, 2010
LAST UPDATED: 07:58 p.m. HST, Dec 04, 2010
Curtis Iaukea, a Hawaii sports legend as a high school athlete and later a pro wrestler, died Saturday after a long illness.
"He died peacefully, with family around him," his son, Rocky, told the Star-Advertiser. "At his home in Papakolea."
Iaukea was 73.
Iaukea starred in sports at Punahou, and then at the University of California, where he received an award for standing out on offense and defense.
He went on to a year in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders and several seasons in the CFL. But his biggest fame as a pro athlete came in wrestling, where he was known as "King Curtis Iaukea," and "Da Bull."
He also had a successful concession in Waikiki.
"He was a pioneer of the modern-day beach stand. He was a visionary in many ways," said his son. "His accomplishments went beyond football and wrestling."
Rocky said his father had not been well for a while.
"He was originally crippled from wrestling in 1979," he said. "Over the last year things accelerated, but his health problems started a long time ago."