Hello, Gorgeous!

"Gorgeous" George Wagner was born in Butte, Nebraska, on this day in 1915. George was arguably the biggest thing in pro wrestling from the 1940s and '50s, helping to usher in the television days of the spectacle and the mass-mediated cult of personality and celebrity. His influence expands beyond the realm of wrestling, though, claimed by entertainers as diverse as Bob Dylan and James Brown and John Waters and evident in at least one Bugs Bunny cartoon. The photos above were taken by future film legend Stanley Kubrick, showing George in competition with Ralph Garibaldi in Chicago in 1949.


  1. A recent episode of The Simpsons had a story about Grandpa Abe Simpson being a pro wrestler in the 1950s called Glorious Godfrey. The character was obviously patterned after Gorgeous George replete with fancy robes and coiffed blonde hair.


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