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Maurice 'Mad Dog' Vachon
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Wrestler
    (September 14, 1929-November 21, 2013)
    Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
    Represented Canada at the Summer Olympics, finishing 7th (1948)
    Won a gold medal as a middleweight at the British Empire Games (1950)
    As a pro wrestler fought in an estimated 13,000 matches (1950-86)
    Was the American Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Champion five times between 1964 and 1967
    Held the AWA World Tag Team Championship partnered with his brother Paul (1969-71) and with Verne Gagne (1979-80)
    Inducted into the Wrestling Observer Hall of Fame (1996) and WWE Hall of Fame (2010)
    Uncle of wrestler Luna Vachon
    In going from a middleweight amateur to a heavyweight pro, he bulked up by 50 pounds. (And judging by pics of him in a singlet, it wasn't all muscle.)
    He got his 'Mad Dog' nickname after an early match when he trashed the ring and hit a policeman who tried to stop him.
    He shaved his head bald and grew a goatee to stand out.
    His in-ring brutality -- including biting opponents and hitting them with foreign objects -- got him banned by three states.
    He met his third wife, Kathie Jo, after he spat a shoe string he had used to choke his opponent into the audience and it hit her.
    After retiring from the ring, he complained about wrestling, 'All the sex and violence now.... It's becoming evil.'
    In school, the teachers would rap his knuckles with a ruler to stop him from writing left-handed.
    Before matches, he would buy local TV time to declare his supremacy and attack his opponent.
    A documentary filmmaker noted, 'He was the first wrestler to understand the power of television. He was the first wrestler to speak to the camera. That was never done before.'
    Over the course of his career, he went from a heel to a fan favorite.
    He had to have a leg amputated after he was struck by a hit-and-run driver (1987).
    Despite his ferocity in the ring, he was generous in real life.

Credit: C. Fishel


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