WWE announced the news in a statement on the website, saying, "WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of William Moody, aka Paul Bearer. Moody made his WWE debut in 1991 as the manager of The Undertaker and went on to become a memorable part of WWE over the course of the next 20 years. Our deepest condolences go out to Moody's family, friends and fans."
Bearer joined the World Wrestling Federation in 1990. His degree in mortuary science was used as inspiration for his character as a funeral director who managed The Undertaker, Kane, Rick Rude, Vader and more wrestling stars.
Although the cause of death has not yet been confirmed, TMZ reports that Bearer suffered from morbid obesity and gallbladder issues.
UPDATE: TMZ further reported Wednesday that Bearer suffered a blood clot three days before his death. While attending a Cauliflower Alley Club reunion on March 2, Bearer reportedly told people he was seeking treatment for "respiratory issues." The president of the wrestling society, Bob Kelly, told TMZ he has a severely breathing problem was hospitalized after the reunion.