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Dory Funk Sr.
Funk in August 1962.
Birth nameDorrance Wilhelm Funk
Born(1919-05-04)May 4, 1919
Hammond, Indiana, U.S.
DiedJune 3, 1973(1973-06-03) (aged 54)
Amarillo, Texas, U.S.
Alma materIndiana State University
Spouse(s)Dorothy Culver Funk[1]
Betty Funk
Children3, including Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Dory Dean
Dory Deane
Dory Dillard
Dory Funk
Dory Funk Sr.
The Outlaw
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Billed weight249 lb (113 kg)
Billed fromAmarillo, Texas, U.S.
Debut1940

Dorrance Wilhelm Funk[2] (May 4, 1919 – June 3, 1973) was an American professional wrestler. He is the father of wrestlers Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, and was a promoter of the Amarillo, Texas-based Western States Sports promotion.

Early life

Funk was born in Hammond, Indiana, on May 4, 1919, as the son of Emma E. (Gust) and Adam Funk. He was an Indiana high school state champion amateur wrestler for three years at Hammond High School in Hammond, Indiana, as well as an Indiana State University Amateur Athletic Union champion for one year.[3]

Professional wrestling career

Funk began his career as a professional wrestler after serving in the United States Navy during World War II, starting in the southwest United States. He wrestled primarily in the Texas territories and the Central States territories during his career. Mainly a junior heavyweight, he fought Iron Mike DiBiase, Mike Clancy, Danny Hodge and Verne Gagne. After Dory Jr. won the NWA Heavyweight championship in 1969, he was at ringside for many of his son's title defences.

Promoter

Funk (right) in a 1972 Texas Death match against Ciclón Negro

Funk began promoting Western States Sports with Doc Sarpolis in Amarillo, Texas, where he led a thriving wrestling scene that produced many stars, including his sons Dory Funk Jr. and Terry Funk, as well as Stan Hansen, Harley Race, Gene Kiniski, Tully Blanchard, Ted DiBiase, Tito Santana, Bruiser Brody, Ricky Romero, Jumbo Tsuruta, and Genichiro Tenryu. Many of his wrestlers had played football at West Texas State University in nearby Canyon, Texas. Funk had a good business relationship with All Japan Pro Wrestling founder Shohei Baba, which led Funk's talent pool to useful international experience. Funk was also heavily involved with the Cal Farley Boys Ranch in Amarillo.[4]

On July 15, 2006, Funk was posthumously inducted into the George Tragos/Lou Thesz Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame at the International Wrestling Institute and Museum in Newton, Iowa. The award was accepted by his son, Terry.

Death

Funk died at St. Anthony's Hospital after suffering a heart attack on June 3, 1973, at the age of 54, while demonstrating a wrestling hold at his home to a visitor at his Flying Mare Ranch in Umbarger, Texas.[5] He was buried at Dreamland Cemetery in Canyon, Texas.

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ "Dorothy Funk Culver | Amarillo.com | Amarillo Globe-News". Archived from the original on February 27, 2018. Retrieved March 17, 2011.
  2. ^ "Dory Funk Sr". Obsessed With Wrestling. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved April 5, 2009.
  3. ^ "The Legend of Dory Funk Sr". November 13, 2019. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  4. ^ "The Texas boys were beaten, abused, raped. Now all they want is an apology". the Guardian. December 20, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2022.
  5. ^ "Dory Funk Sr.'s last day". Slam Wrestling. January 2, 2013. Retrieved June 3, 2021.
  6. ^ "Hall of Fame Inductions Report: Bret Hart, Larrry Hennig, Mike DiBiase, Dory Funk Sr., Bop Roop". PWTorch. July 6, 2006. Retrieved August 27, 2018.
  7. ^ "2013". Archived from the original on May 29, 2015. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
  8. ^ "National Wrestling Alliance World Tag Team Titles [W. Texas]". Wrestling-Titles. Retrieved February 21, 2017.