Philadelphia-based independent wrestler D.C. "Mad Dog" Drake passed away. Buster Crabdock sent us this report on Drake late Monday night:
Drake was instrumental in developing the hardcore wrestling style in the Northeastern part of the United States. Along with Larry Winters, both appeared throughout the United States for several years bringing their style of hardcore wrestling to hungry fans.
Drake was also an owner, booker and television producer for National Wrestling Federation based in Philadelphia and at one point was one of the strongest independent promotions in the United States and abroad. Featuring such greats as Sgt. Slaughter, Abdullah the Butcher, Bruiser Brody, Jules Strongbow, Cousin Luke, the Fantastics and many more, the NWF had national television coverage on Sports Channels and local broadcast television with Drake at the helm and Creative Entertainment as Executive Producers. D.C. Drake had multiple offers to work for major federations but turned them down in order to devote his time to the development of the National Wrestling Federation. He also worked as an addictions counselor and used his education and knowledge to develop an anti-drug program for children while plying his trade as a wrestler.
In the late 1980s, Drake returned to his counseling career and in the early 1990s, he suffered a heart attack which all but ended his career in wrestling. Although never a drinker or drug user, he did discuss his use of prescribed steroids that damaged his heart that was also destined for problems as a result of family history. In all, he suffered four heart attacks, had 26 stents in his heart and endured multiple open heart surgeries but remained committed to his love of working with those suffering from HIV and addictions. In 2009, he was inducted into the New England Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame but was unable to attend the event due to health issues. His last position, working as the Director of a program located in Shattuck Hospital in Boston, served patients with long term addiction problems and AIDS.
He is survived by his wife Lydia and five daughters. He will be cremated and his ashed spread into the Atlantic Ocean at Newport, Rhode Island.