Former NWA president Howard Brody has died stemming from an infection following quadruple bypass surgery.
Brody was involved in the industry throughout his life in so many different areas but never got his big break, which was the outline of his underrated book that was released in 2009.
Brody was the youngest of six children and moved from Brooklyn to Hollywood, Florida while he was growing up.
Brody had a passion for the industry and was always on the lookout for a way to support his hobby and find full-time work. He spent time as a freelancer for WWF Magazine until they used their in-house team exclusively. After that gig, he wrote for the Gold Belt Wrestling magazine.
He always had a passion for writing and attempted to marry it with his other love of pro wrestling, but later shifted to the promotional side with Wild Women of Wrestling alongside Craig Cohen in 1989.
Brody got involved with Herb Abrams’ UWF to help promote their events in Florida, which did very poorly.
With Hiro Matsuda, the two developed a project that would become known as Ring Warriors to attempt to syndicate New Japan Pro Wrestling in the United States. In his book, Brody detailed negotiations they had with toy company Bandai for the project, which fell apart.
Later, they attempted streaming of live events in December 1997 way before it was a viable technology for consumption, and offered the first three shows for free but there wasn’t a market for the shows with that form of distribution.
In 1996, Brody succeeded Steve Rickard as president of the NWA, when the group was a shell of its former self but was still viewed as historically significant because of the letters if you grew up in the previous generation. It was during his time as president that the group briefly worked with the WWF in 1998 with Jim Cornette leading a group consisting of Jeff Jarrett and the “New” Midnight Express. Brody appeared on a segment on Raw alongside the late Dennis Coraluzzo during the program.
Brody had countless roles over the years from working on syndicating ECW, attempting to get numerous start-up projects off the ground, and being linked to countless figures and promotions throughout the year.
In 2005, he co-authored Dusty Rhodes’ autobiography, “Reflections of an American Dream” through Sports Publishing.
Perhaps his strongest contribution to the industry was the revealing and unapologetic book he released, Swimming with Piranhas Surviving the Politics of Professional Wrestling, which was released through ECW Press in November 2009.
The book is a must-read for any aspiring promoter or figure looking to navigate the pitfalls and schemes of the industry. Brody was always on the precipice of striking it big when a curveball would be thrown his way and he documented the highs and lows of his career in this book, which comes highly recommended if you can get your hands on it.
We send our condolences to the friends and family of Howard Brody.