Robson Gracie Sr., Oldest Member of Gracie Family, Dies at 88

Robson Gracie Sr.
Robson Gracie Sr., who was the oldest living member of the Gracie family of jiu-jitsu practitioners, passed away Fridayin Brazil at the age of 88. The second son of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu founder Carlos Gracie, he was one of the few living ninth degree black belts in BJJ.

Training under his father and his uncle, Helio, Gracie competed in Brazilian vale tudo matches in the 1950s. He eventually became a bodyguard for leftist politician Leonel Brizola, the brother-in-law of then Brazilian President João Goulart. When Goulart was deposed in a 1964 military coup, Gracie became linked to a Marxist guerrilla group and was arrested by authorities. He was reportedly tortured for 60 days before being released.

He would go on to head up the Jiu-Jitsu Federation of Rio de Janeiro as its President. Among his children, who continued the family name in jiu-jitsu, are BJJ legend Renzo Gracie, as well as Charles, Ralph, Robson Jr., and the late Ryan Gracie. Among his grandchildren are women's world champion Kyra Gracie and current Bellator fighter Neiman Gracie.

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