Monday, December 19, 2016

Jim Londos

Birth: Jan. 2, 1894
Regional unit of Argolis
Peloponnese, Greece
Death: Aug. 19, 1975
San Diego County
California, USA

Professional Wrestler. Born Christopher Theophelus in Argos, Greece (the exact date of his birth was not recorded, and is variously reported as 1894 to 1897). Running away from home at the age of thirteen he came to America, settling in San Francisco. He worked at menial jobs for two years before becoming an amateur wrestler. In 1920 he turned professional. Considered small for a wrestler at 5' 8" and 200 lbs. (at the height of his career) he worked his way up the wrestling circuit for the next 10 years. On the West Coast he appeared as "Chris Theophelus, The Wrestling Plasterer", entering the ring dressed as a construction worker with plaster splattered clothes over his tights. He later dropped the gimmick and headed East. He won the World Wrestling Title on June 6, 1930 by defeating Dick Schikat, and held that title for five years until he lost it to Danno O'Mahoney. He regained the title two years later by defeating former NFL star Bronko Nagurski, and held the title until he retired in 1946. During his thirty-four year wrestling career he held the world professional title for fourteen years and fought an estimated 2500 matches. In his homeland of Greece he defeated Russian Kola Kowriani before a crowd of 100,000 people in the Olympic Stadium in Athens. Another 50,000 people waited outside, unable to buy tickets. He was inducted into the Breitbart Hall of Fame in 1967. A philanthropist, he donated money to the orphans of Cyprus and wrestled in charity events. He was awarded the Golden Cross of Phoenix by King Paul of Greece in 1970, and was honored for his charitable work by President Richard Nixon the same year. With his wife Arva and their three daughters "The Golden Greek" Jim Londos spent the last twenty-five years of his life in Escondido, California on his citrus and avocado farm. He continued to work out daily, remaining fit into his later years. He once invited a friend to the beach for a morning workout where Jim proceeded to walk two miles in the sand - backwards. He died in Escondido.

Cause of death: Heart attack

Jim Londos

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