Think that wrestlers aren't the smartest guys in the sports business? Ed Don George's story will convince you otherwise.
George was born in North Java, went to Canisius High School, and quickly became a good-sized name in wrestling circles. He grappled for both St. Bonaventure and the University of Michigan, where he earned a degree in engineering. George wrestled at the Olympics in Amsterdam in 1928.
In 1929, he took on the name of Ed Don when he gave up a job as a tire salesman and turned pro, even though his middle name was Nicholas. A year later he won the heavyweight title. Later in the 1930s, George had the championship again, this time for two years and became a major attraction.
After serving in the Navy in World War II, George moved into promoting in the U.S. and pre-Castro Cuba.
George died in 1985, and he was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006.
-- Budd Bailey
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