Scott Epstein, 64, a regular fixture in the New York City wrestling scene dating back decades, passed away early this morning following a car accident.
New York Newsday reported that Epstein's car struck a tree around 1:20 AM near his home in East Rockaway, NY. The cause of the crash is not known.
Epstein was extremely close with WWE Hall of Famer Superstar Graham as they had a friendship that dated back to Graham's WWWF run and Epstein often handled publicity for him. With his bald head and mustache, the two could have passed for relatives.
Epstein was heavily involved in the bodybuilding world as a promoter of events (at one point, he was Vice President of the World Body Building Guild), as well as a writer about that genre. A meeting with Superstar Graham at a Mr. Olympia contest brought both friendship and a chance for Epstein to cross into the pro wrestling world.
During the 1970s, Epstein would write for a number of pro wrestling magazines, including Main Event and Ring Wrestling. Epstein used his publicity contacts to help a number of wrestlers get TV appearance bookings at the time, including Ken Patera, who he helped get booked on ABC Sports' Strongest Man in the World competition.
Epstein would use his connections in the wrestling and bodybuilding world to bring Graham, Ivan Putski, Bruno Sammartino, Tony Atlas and others in for Bodybuilding Guild events where they would be honored as part of the Guild's Hall of Fame.
As WWF expanded nationally, Epstein strayed from the business and pursued other exploits, including his full-time job working as a teacher and assistant principal in the NYC education system. A chance visit to an independent show led to Epstein running into Scott Putski, Ivan's son, and Epstein getting involved in pro wrestling world again.
From that point on, Epstein juggled a million hats around the NYC wrestling world - from vendor to photographer to publicity to "man around town". He was at every major convention with a guest, he was often involved with bringing talent to the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame in Amsterdam, NY and would help facilitate talents getting into contact with promoters.
At one point, he was also working on books about the careers of Brutus Beefcake and Ivan Putski, although whether any major work was completed on them, I don't know at this time.
Epstein was also heavily involved in a number of charities in the NYC area.
I knew Scott for many, many years and he was never anything but kind to me personally. He had one of those personalities where he had a opinion on everything and always had a good story from the past as he had been around and witnessed a ton over the decades.
On behalf of everyone here at PWInsider.com, I'd like to issue our deepest condolences to Scott's friends and family.