It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Emile Duprée, a Canadian professional wrestler and promoter, at the age of 86. The exact cause of his death has not been publicly disclosed. Emile Duprée, whose birth name was Emile Goguen, left an indelible mark on the world of professional wrestling and was known not only for his contributions to the sport but also as the father of former WWE star Renee Duprée.
Emile Duprée’s journey in the world of professional wrestling began in the mid-1950s when he formed close friendships with Canadian wrestling legends Vic Butler and Reggie Richard. His career as a wrestler took him to numerous corners of the globe, where he showcased his skills and left an enduring impact on the wrestling community. His travels led him to countries such as Australia, the United States, and New Zealand, where he displayed his athleticism and charisma in the squared circle.
The wrestling world mourns the loss of this iconic figure, and tributes have poured in from those who knew him well. Ron Hutchinson, a legendary wrestler and trainer, paid tribute to Emile Duprée on Facebook, confirming the news of his passing and expressing heartfelt condolences to the Duprée family, Emile’s friends, and his dedicated fans.
Hutchinson shared his deep connection with Emile Duprée, recounting how he spent six summers touring with him, working tirelessly night after night alongside some of the wrestling industry’s finest. He emphasized the profound impact Emile had on his life, from the valuable lessons he learned to the opportunities he was given. Hutchinson praised Emile as an often overlooked Canadian pro-wrestling icon who provided work and chances for many aspiring wrestlers through his Grand Prix Wrestling territory. This territory, at one point, might have been the best-kept secret in the world of professional wrestling.
“I spent six summers touring for Emile Dupre, working 7 nights a week for months on end, working with some of the best names in the business. It was a learning experience like no other and one I’ve, publicly, been thankful to Emile for since the very beginning.
I’m sure, I’ll post more as I take the time to reflect on this Canadian wrestling icon and just how much he meant to me since first chatting with him and writing to him when I was 19 years old.
But let me leave you with this for now. Emile Dupre was an, often overlooked, Canadian pro-wrestling icon. He gave work and opportunities to so many of us with his Grand Prix Wrestling territory. A grand territory that just might have been the best kept secret in pro wrestling. He was wholeheartedly supported by a wonderful wife, Paula and an equally as loving family. My thoughts, prayers, well wishes and condolences go out this morning to all of Emile’s family and especially Paula, Rene, Jeff and Ron Gougen. May you all find comfort in the cherished memories that you hold so dear. I know that i will try to find that comfort today through those memories.”
In the late 1970s, Emile Duprée embarked on another chapter of his wrestling career by establishing Grand Prix Wrestling, a wrestling promotion that thrived in the Maritimes region of Canada. For several years, Grand Prix Wrestling enjoyed success and garnered a dedicated fan base in the region. However, the wrestling landscape underwent significant changes in the mid-1980s when Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation (WWF) embarked on a major expansion into both the United States and Canada, which eventually led to the evolution of professional wrestling as we know it today.
Emile Duprée’s legacy extends far beyond the ring ropes. He was not only a wrestling pioneer but a beloved figure within the wrestling community, and his contributions will be remembered and cherished by fans and fellow wrestlers alike. Our thoughts and condolences go out to the Duprée family, particularly his wife Paula and his children Renee, Jeff, and Ron Gougen. May they find solace in the cherished memories they hold dear, knowing that Emile’s impact on the world of professional wrestling will live on forever.