Thursday, March 08, 2007

Deceased Wrestlers

Gary Will has compiled a very informative list of professional wrestlers who have passed away. People often ask about whether there an epidemic of wrestlers dying young.

So, there are about 1324 wrestlers listed there. Only 1085 have at least a year of death listed and only 854 of those have an age listed. I don't know when every person started their wrestling career, but let's just pretend they debuted when they were 18 years old. (Now granted, that puts a guy like Mike Awesome as debuting in 1983 when in reality it was several years later in 1989.)

So, by decade using this idea of a start date here are the counts:
[u]debut year[/u]
1860s -- 2
1870s -- 9
1880s -- 2
1890s -- 11
1900s -- 28
1910s -- 55
1920s -- 110
1930s -- 161
1940s -- 166
1950s -- 108
1960s -- 65
1970s -- 65
1980s -- 51
1990s -- 18
2000s -- 3

If you want to argue that most wrestlers weren't really into their career until they were about 25 (age David Von Erich died at), the list moves a bit further:

[u]decade when they were 25[/u]
1860s 1
1870s 2
1880s 8
1890s 2
1900s 19
1910s 27
1920s 67
1930s 142
1940s 156
1950s 162
1960s 82
1970s 68
1980s 63
1990s 50
2000s 5

Not perfectly scientific, but some basic analysis. Of the last five groups they divide as follows:
debuted in 1960s : 31%
debuted in 1970s : 25%
debuted in 1980s : 24%
debuted in 1990s : 19%
debuted in 2000s : 2%

Now, let's take into account average age of death for each decade:
(again I'm listing the decade of when they were 25)
1860s: 41.0 years old
1870s: 73.0 years old
1880s: 64.5 years old
1890s: 81.0 years old
1900s: 66.5 years old
1910s: 69.9 years old
1920s: 64.9 years old
1930s: 72.5 years old
1940s: 70.0 years old
1950s: 65.4 years old
1960s: 54.6 years old
1970s: 45.4 years old
1980s: 37.2 years old
1990s: 31.4 years old
2000s: 23.8 (for anyone who was less than 25 years old, I adjusted their debut date back to when they were 18)

Now, this list seems to be mostly US & Canadian wrestlers with some Mexican & Japanese personalities.

Now, it's not exactly fair to just compare 68 deaths from 70s personalities vs 50 deaths from 90s personalities because there has been more time for aging to occur. As of twenty years ago, how many people from the 70s had died and what was the average age?

As of the end of 1987... (by debut decade)
1930s: 73 deaths, avg age 61.5
1940s: 52 deaths, avg age 54.2
1950s: 28 deaths, avg age 46.9
1960s: 23 deaths, avg age 39.7
1970s: 13 deaths, avg age 32.0
1980s: 8 deaths, avg age 28.0

So, the average age of death from stars of 1990s as of now is 31.4 years old. However, there have been 50 deaths. This compares to only 13 deaths from stars of the 1970s (measured 7 years into the following decade) but at an average age of 32 years old.


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