Sunday, December 26, 2010
Today in 1963 the man who had been credited with establishing pro wrestling as a viable television staple and one its first big stars, "Gorgeous" George Wagner, died of a heart attack.
Born in 1915 he became the first big star of pro wrestling on the new medium of television. During the first Golden Age of Pro Wrestling in the 1940s and 1950s George Wagner and pro wrestling rivaled even the early stars of entertainment during prime time and spurred many to buy their first television set.
George had made a statement in 1949 by starring in the "B" movie "Alias the Champ" and this began his ascent to stardom on television.
In 2008 a very good full length biography of George Wagner was published, The Outrageous Bad-Boy Wrestler Who Created American Pop Culture, written by John Capouya.