The "Golden Greek" Jim Londos was the biggest Depression-era wrestling hero and one of the
most important people in the history of the sport.  His reign as heavyweight champion between
1930 and 1935 was hugely successful, and Londos established himself as a cultural icon and
sporting legend.

Stories of his childhood and early years in the business have differed depending on the
source, and really, the particular agenda being sold on the reader.  One tale is that he was
born in 1897, the 13th child and 12th son, and weighed as much as 15 pounds at birth.  
Londos came to the United States at 12 years of age and settled in San Francisco, where he
wrestled at a local YMCA - later at the famed Olympic Club.  He was reportedly named
"Londos" after the famed writer Jack London.


On May 4, 1919 in Canton, Ohio, Londos wrestled Ed "Strangler" Lewis two-hours to a draw
with no falls.


Around 1924, Londos suffered from trachoma, a debilitating eye disease.

According to the Ogden Standard-Examiner (Ogden, UT), Sunday, December 11, 1927, Jim
Londos claimed that he'd bee chasing Ed "Strangler" Lewis for two years and had posted
$10,000 with the Missouri Trust Company in St. Louis for a finish match.  He also had posted
money at banks in Chicago and Los Angeles, but Lewis refused to wrestle him.



The highly anticipated comeback tour of Londos was kicked off in Detroit on Friday, February
7, 1936 against Jules Strongbow, who weighed as much as 275-pounds against Jim's 205.  In
13 minutes, Londos beat his opponent, and was back on the title path.





Londos reportedly claimed the International wrestling championship after touring for 25,000
miles through Africa, Asia, and Europe, and wrestling 27 matches against the champions of
numerous countries.

An AP wirephoto appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle on August 19, 1937 of Londos and
boxer Max Schmeling.  They reportedly arrived "today [in New York City] aboard the Bremen."




In a letter to Jack Pfefer dated April 26, 1942,
Johnny Doyle (promoter of the Eastside Arena in
Los Angeles) wrote:  "How do you like the way the Greek [Jim Londos] has been chased out of
California.  He was ordered to meet my boy Rube Wright.  he refused to so the commission
vacated his title and suspended him.  I think Rube is sure to win the tournament and then he
will be champion."



In 1950, Londos joined a consortium of individuals in a Chicago promotion with a major national
ABC-TV hook-up.  The group was headed by Rainbo Arena and promoter
Leonard Schwartz,
Ray Fabiani, and Joe "Toots" Mondt of New York, and had further connections to Al Haft and
Paul Bowser.  This group was running in opposition to NWA-connected booking agent Fred
Kohler.  In December of that year, after dealing with the fact that his fellow Alliance brethren
were helping his enemy (Schwartz) and realizing that the NWA was doing nothing about the
situation, Kohler resigned from the organization.  A short time later, the NWA worked out an
agreement that pacified both Schwartz and Kohler, and both were admitted as members.

Shortly thereafter, Schwartz complained that Kohler was running his town, Hammond, Indiana,
and then Sam Muchnick informed Schwartz that Londos had appeared in St. Paul in opposition
to
Tony Stecher.  Schwartz wanted to keep the Hammond and Londos situations separate, but
explained to Muchnick in a letter dated March 20, 1951 that "I sat down with Jim Londos and
told him that rules and regulations apply to him as well as they do to me and anyone else who
is interested in the progress of the Alliance and also the Chicago situation and that I did not
care to be embarrassed by his actions in the future."






Other Historical Facts:

Londos's wife, Arva C. Londos was born in Clayton, Missouri and died in September 1998.

According to the California Death Index:

Jim Londos was born on January 2, 1896
Jim T. Londos was born on January 2, 1894

New York Passenger Lists:

Jim Londos
Arrival Date:  November 14, 1933
Port of Departure:  Cherbourg, France
Ship Name:  Majestic
Name:  Christ Theophelos
Going to the Maryland Hotel, St. Louis, Missouri
Born:  January 10, 1895 (crossed out)

Christ Theophelos
Arrival Date:  August 18, 1937
POD:  Cherbourg, France
Ship Name:  Bremen
Going to the Maryland Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri

Chris Theophelos
Arrival Date:  November 22, 1937
POD:  Le Havre, France
Ship Name:  Normandie
Going to the Hotel New Yorker, NYC

Christ Theophilos
Arrival Date:  May 2, 1925
POD:  Havana, Cuba
"Artist"
Spent 4 days in Cuba
Going to Chicago, IL
29 years old

Christ Thephelos
Arrival Date:  January 29, 1929
POD:  Le Havre, France
Ship Name:  Ile de France
Going to the Maryland Hotel in St. Louis, Missouri















Source Material:

1/6/1920                        New York Post
1/6/1920                        New York Sun






Research by Tim Hornbaker
Jim Londos Wrestling History
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