David Von Erich: What Happened to Him? How Did He Die?

Image Credit: TheIronClaw1/YouTube

David Von Erich’s legacy resonates strongly in the wrestling world. As the son of the legendary Fritz Von Erich stepped into professional wrestling, his career seemed destined for stardom from the outset. In Sean Durkin’s ‘The Iron Claw,’ the real-life narrative of the family unfolds, and David emerges as one of the most memorable figures. Beyond his achievements in the ring, he is remembered as an exemplary brother, a devoted son, a loving father, and a dedicated husband. The impact he left on the world of wrestling and the hearts of those who knew him ensures that David Von Erich will be eternally remembered and celebrated.

David Von Erich Died While He was on Tour in Japan

Born as David Alan Adkisson on July 22, 1958, he was the second son of Fritz Von Erich and Doris. Tragedy struck the family a year after David’s birth when his eldest brother, Jack Jr., passed away in a tragic accident at the age of just 7. The family subsequently relocated from Niagara Falls, Ontario, to Texas, where David spent his formative years. Under the guidance of their father, Fritz, David and his two brothers, Kevin and Kerry, were trained to become well-rounded athletes and exceptional wrestlers. Due to the promise and talent that David displayed, he undoubtedly held a special place as his father’s favorite among the siblings.

Image Credit: The Texas Wrestling Channel/YouTube

Attending Lake Dallas High School, David gained recognition for his proficiency in basketball and football. He continued his athletic pursuits at North Texas State University on a scholarship, but in 1977, he opted to drop out and pursue a professional wrestling career. Having his breakout match in August 1977, he adopted the name David Von Erich, following in his father’s footsteps. Right from the start, David captivated fans with his fiery temper, tall and bold physique, and charismatic presence, quickly becoming an instant hit in the wrestling world.

In 1978, David married Candy L. McLeod, and the couple experienced a tragic setback when their daughter passed away from Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) at just 13 weeks old. The profound loss took a toll on their marriage, leading to its dissolution in 1979. While facing personal challenges, David’s professional career thrived. He spent a year with Championship Wrestling from Florida before returning to Texas in 1982. Notably, he engaged in a well-known feud with Jimmy Garvin within the World Class Championship Wrestling and had a legendary rivalry with The Freebirds in the early years of the 1980s.

In 1982, David found love once more and married Patricia A. Matter. Achieving success in his professional career, he secured the NWA Missouri Heavyweight Championship in 1983, signaling a positive turn in his life. The momentum continued in 1984 as he added to his accolades by winning the NWA United National Championship. However, unbeknownst to him, this would be his final championship title.

In February 1984, David traveled to participate in All Japan Pro Wrestling. Sadly, on February 10, he was discovered deceased in his hotel room. The Von Erich family asserted that his death resulted from a ruptured intestine caused by acute enteritis, which is the officially documented cause of his demise. However, there have been rumors and allegations, notably by another wrestler named Ric Flair, suggesting that David’s death might be linked to a drug overdose. The circumstances surrounding his passing remain a subject of speculation and controversy within the wrestling community and the world.

Following David’s passing, his family and wife expressed gratitude for the support shown by his fans and friends during that difficult time. His death had a profound impact on his brothers and father, and the subsequent events that unfolded became a tale that seems almost unbelievable. David remains a cherished memory for his brother Kevin, who recognizes the unique and special qualities that made his brother truly unforgettable.

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