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Hulk Hogan (born Terry Gene Bollea, August 11th, 1953) is an American Professional Wrestler known for his popularity in the ring. In addition to his professional wrestling career, Hogan has also had a career in reality television and product endorsement.
Hulk Hogan began professional wrestling in 1977 after unsuccessfully attempting to be a musician. He joined the World Wrestling Federation (now called the WWE) in 1979, and proceeded to become one of the best wrestlers in the federation's history. Fans of Hulk Hogan are referred to as "Hulkmaniacs."
Hogan's popularity as a wrestler in both wrestling and mainstream media began in the 1980s and continues today. Hogan is a 12-time world champion being a six-time WWF/E (World Heavyweight) Champion and six-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion. He is the third longest combined reigning WWF Champion of all time, and is also the longest-reigning WCW World Heavyweight Champion of all time, with a 469-day reign from 1994 to 1995. He is often referred to as the most recognizable pro-wrestler in the world and the most popular wrestler of the 1980s. He has quit and returned to wrestling four separate times, most recently returning in 2014.
Television and Acting
Hogan's crossover popularity has led to many film roles, both starring and cameo. In 2005, Hogan and his family, including his then-wife Linda, and their children Brooke and Nick, starred in a VH1 reality television show called Hogan Knows Best. After the show, Hogan and his Linda had a public and acrimonious divorce, in which 70% of his assets went to her, and he remarried. His son Nick went to prison for a drunk-driving accident, and his daughter Brooke attempted to have a music career and her own reality television show, called Brooke Knows Best. In 2010, the documentary A&E Presents Finding Hulk Hogan premiered. The documentary followed Hogan during this down time in his life. 
There are thousands of YouTube clips of Hulk Hogan wrestling matches online, many posted by fans, and others posted by the official WWE YouTube page. Several have more than one million views, and many more have view counts in the hundreds of thousands. Hogan joined Twitter in 2010, and as of July 2015 he has obtained 1.35 million followers. His official Facebook page has 4.5 million likes.
Gawker Sex Tape and Lawsuit
On October 10th, 2012, the web site Gawker.com published a one minute excerpt of a 30-minute covert tape recording of Hulk Hogan having sex with a woman identified as the wife of his best friend, a Florida radio DJ called Bubba the Love Sponge. The accompanying post also featured a length description of the video by editor A.J. Daulerio. On April 24th, 2013, Hogan sued Gawker for the post, and demanded they take the tape down. The site initially refused, citing their first amendment rights as journalists in the public interest, but a judge later required them to remove it.
Hogan sued Bubba the Love Sponge for creating the tape, and they settled out of court. In addition, Hogan sued Gawker Media for $100 million dollars, and the case, Bollea vs. Gawker.com, is still in courts as of July 2015; if the court decides in Hogan's favor, this sum of money is larger than the net worth of the Gawker empire, and could effectively end it.
Racist Comments and WWE Erasure
During the litigation of the case of Bollea vs. Gawker.com, full transcripts of the sex tape recording was entered as evidence in the trial. On July 10th, 2015, Gawker CEO Nick Denton alluded to the content of these transcripts in a post about the trial, saying:
There will be a third act which we believe will center on the real story: the additional recordings held by the FBI, the information in them that is Hulk Hogan’s real secret, and irregularities in the recordings which indicate some sort of cover-up. In the way of so many news stories, the deeper you go, the more interesting it gets.
On July 24th, 2015 tabloids The National Enquirer and Radar jointly published excerpts from the transcript, which had been leaked to them by an unknown party. These transcripts included racists comments made by Hogan about a business relationship his daughter, Brooke, was having with a black man. Hogan repeatedly says that he is "a little bit racist," and that he wishes that his daughter would date a rich basketball player, if she was going to be sleeping with the son of her black business associate.
Upon the release of the transcript, the WWE immediately terminated its relationship with Hulk Hogan, erasing his biography from their corporate web site and pulling Hulk Hogan branded merchandise from its online store. Hogan apologized for the remarks in a correspondence with People magazine:
"Eight years ago I used offensive language during a conversation. It was unacceptable for me to have used that offensive language; there is no excuse for it; and I apologize for having done it," Hogan said in a statement exclusively to PEOPLE. The transcript featuring that conversation was published online by the National Enquirer.
"This is not who I am. I believe very strongly that every person in the world is important and should not be treated differently based on race, gender, orientation, religious beliefs or otherwise," Hogan told PEOPLE. "I am disappointed with myself that I used language that is offensive and inconsistent with my own beliefs." 
However, his apology did not stop users on social media from talking about the remarks; use of the words Hulk Hogan in different combinations on Twitter reached almost 300,000 on July 24th and in the days following.
On July 15th, 2018, after months of rumors, Hogan was officially reinstated by the WWE to its Hall of Fame. Hogan had reportedly appeared backstage at the Extreme Rules Pay-per-view event taking place that day to apologize to the roster of WWE. There had been some rumors that the apology was to be taped for an WWE-produced special surrounding Hogan's return, but afterwards, it came out that the apology was not taped.
The return was also reportedly met with mixed reactions from black WWE wrestlers. Mark Henry reported that black wrestlers were split "50/50" in their feelings on Hogan's return. Some rumors claimed that wrestler Titus O'Neil had "stormed out" of the WWE locker room prior to Hogan's apology, though this was disputed by some who claimed O'Neil left when he was supposed to as he was not scheduled to appear at the event. O'Neil appeared to verify that the "stormed out" rumor was false in a tweet where he also voiced his support for Kofi Kingston, a black wrestler and member of The New Day, who tweeted a statement about the drama (shown below). Kingston's statement acknowledged Hogan's importance in wrestling, acknowledged the hurt his comments caused, and ended by saying the situation would have no impact on his performance. This was praised by wrestling publications and fellow wrestlers.
 Wikipedia – Hulk Hogan
 Broadway World – A&E Presents Finding Hulk Hogan
 YouTube – Search: Hulk Hogan Matches+
 Twitter – Hulk Hogan
 Facebook – Hulk Hogan
 Gawker.com – Even for a Minute, Watching Hulk Hogan Have Sex in a Canopy Bed is Not Safe For Work but Watch it Anyway (unavailable)
 Gawker.com – Hulk v. Gawker, the story so far
 The National Enquirer (via Wayback Machine)- WORLD EXCLUSIVE: HULK'S N-WORD RACIST RANTS CAUGHT ON TAPE – FOUL, DISGUSTING TIRADE LEAKS
 Us Magazine – Hulk Hogan's WWE Contract Terminated as He Alludes to "Storm" Amid Reports of Racist Remarks
 People Magazine – Hulk Hogan Apologizes for 'Unacceptable' Racist Rant as He Is Scrubbed from WWE Hall of Fame
 Topsy – Tweets per day: Hulk Hogan, #HulkHogan, and @HulkHogan June 25th -- July 25th (unavailable)
 WWE – Hulk Hogan reinstated into WWE Hall of Fame
 Cageside Seats – Cup of coffee in the big time: Let Hogan be in the Hall of Fame, then tell him to go to hell
 Daily Star – WWE return for Hulk Hogan after racist N-word rant 'has black wrestlers split 50/50'
 Daily Star – 'WWE star ‘STORMS OUT’ backstage over Hulk Hogan return after racist N-word rant
 Cageside Seats – The New Day and Titus O’Neil are the role models Hulk Hogan only pretended to be
 Mandatory – The Wrestling World Shows Their Support For Titus O’Neil After Hogan Statement
Jul 25, 2015 at 06:06PM EDT
Jul 26, 2015 at 11:35AM EDT
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