Ed Don George Ring Record
Edward “Don” George was a legendary amateur and professional wrestler. Hailing from
Sheldon in Wyoming County, New York, George was born in 1905 to Edward Sr. and Sarah
George. The George Family lived in a farming community and when Ed Jr.’s athletic abilities
became known, it seemed obvious that the first son of the family would go on to gain some
real international fame. He went to the University of Michigan and in 1928 he won the
National AAU Championship as a heavyweight, then went off to Amsterdam as a member of
the United States Olympic Wrestling Team.
In the semi-finals, George beat Wernli of Switzerland and then took on Johan Richthoff of
Sweden in the freestyle heavyweight finals. After 4:41, Richthoff beat George with a fall and
won the gold medal. In April 1929, Ed repeated his feat of capturing the heavyweight AAU
National Championship. He was soon courted by former professional wrestler and promoter
Paul Bowser of Boston.
A year later, George was living in Boston and training with Bowser. As he had proven in the
amateur world, George was ready to make a hit in the professional. He ended Gus
Sonnenberg’s reign as AWA World Heavyweight Champion on December 10, 1930 in Los
Angeles. He remained the titleholder until April 13, 1931 when Ed “Strangler” Lewis beat him
in two-straight falls. He regained the belt on February 9, 1933 in Boston, defeating Henri
DeGlane. George was World Champion for more than two years, dropping the title to the
Trust’s unstoppable Danno O’Mahoney on June 30, 1935 in Boston. In Paris, George beat Al
Perreira for a European claim to the World Heavyweight Title on April 5, 1937. He won his
fourth overall World Title on April 18, 1939 with a win over Steve “Crusher Casey. Casey
regained the title on November 3 in Buffalo.
The Ironwood, Michigan Daily Globe (3/28/1929) reported that heavyweight wrestler Ed Don
George injured his elbow and would not be able to participate in the National College
wrestling tournament at Columbus. He was coached by Clifford Keen.
In February 1931, Ray Fabiani, who promoted in both Philadelphia and Boston, issued a
challenged to George on behalf of Jim Londos. The offer was for $50,000 for a finish match
with the world heavyweight championship on the line.
A detailed article was printed on George in the Sunday, May 3, 1931 edition of the
Philadelphia Inquirer. He was called "Don George." He worked in a tire factory, at a logging
camp, and on farms while a young man, and by 1924, he had saved enough money to attend
the University of Michigan. He labored to earn cash while in school, and provided his
dedication to wrestling by training during his scare off time. He briefly attended Notre Dame,
then St. Bonaventure College, but ended up back at Michigan. George graduated with a
Bachelor of Science and Engineering degree. He met Jack Albright around November 1929
and was convinced to turn pro wrestler.
During George’s second reign as AWA Titleholder, promoter Bowser alligned himself with
other national promoters in a “Trust.” The move would bring a new host of other grapplers
into George’s spectrum, and quickly entered new territories. In December 1933, he ventured
into St. Louis as champion for Tom Packs. Between the promoters of the “Trust,” there were
three world champions, George, Londos and Jim Browning. Unification matches were
speculated about, and Londos would eventually take Browning’s claim.
In the March 29, 1933 edition of the New York American newspaper, there was a picture of Ed
Don George with a woman who he reportedly saved from a "Boston masher." He was one of
three world champions at the time. The woman was Anne Boland and George "used a punch
to fell the brute."
The United Press ran an article in newspapers dated February 4, 1935 in which George
predicted that Jim Londos would lose the World Heavyweight championship before the end of
the year. He claimed Londos was "slipping," naming himself, Jim Browning and Everette
Marshall as outstanding challengers. George noted that Londos was over 40 and had "gone
back," despite the fact that his opponents had "improved mightily."
The Washington Post (3/21/1942) explained that George had retired from wrestling and
joined the U.S. Navy Reserve as a lieutenant, senior grade. He was going to report on
Monday to Annapolis, Maryland for training. His last match occurred the Thursday before
when he drew against Earl McCready in Toronto.
The Berkshire Evening Eagle (Pittsfield, MA, 1/29/1947) reported that "today" Ed Don George
was "named matchmaker and vice president of the Great Lakes Athletic Club," and the
announcement was made by president Jack Herman. George signed a 10-year contract.
Research by Tim Hornbaker
|Ed Don George Wrestling History
Legends of Pro Wrestling