Gene Anderson
Birth nameEugene Avon Anderson[1][2]
BornOctober 4, 1939[3][2]
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.[3][4]
DiedOctober 31, 1991(1991-10-31) (aged 52)[5][1]
Huntersville, North Carolina, U.S.[1][6]
Cause of deathHeart attack[5][6]
Alma materNorth Dakota State College of Science[1]
Spouse(s)Edith Simpson[5]
Children3, including Brad Anderson[7][6]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Gene Anderson[3][6]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[4][2]
Billed weight251 lb (114 kg)[4]
Trained byVerne Gagne[4]

Eugene Avon Anderson (October 4, 1939 – October 31, 1991) was an American professional wrestler and professional wrestling manager. He is best known for being one-half of the tag team the Minnesota Wrecking Crew, first with Lars Anderson, then with Ole Anderson.

He was a marquee performer for the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) from the late-1960s, appearing with promotions including the American Wrestling Association (AWA), Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) and Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (ACW).[3][4][6][8][9] The Minnesota Wrecking Crew were named "Tag Team of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated in 1975 and 1977.

Early life

Anderson was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota to Royal Anderson and Pauline Sergeant.[2] He competed in amateur wrestling while attending South Saint Paul Secondary, becoming a state champion.[2][3] He attended North Dakota State College of Science.[1][2]

Professional wrestling career

Early career (1958–1961)

Anderson was trained by Verne Gagne, making his debut in 1958.[4] He spent several years wrestling in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for Stampede Wrestling.

American Wrestling Association (1961–1966)

Anderson joined the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based American Wrestling Association (AWA) in 1961.[3] In 1965, he formed the tag team The Minnesota Wrecking Crew with Lars Anderson, who was billed as his brother.

Georgia Championship Wrestling (1963, 1967, 1974–1981)

Anderson made his first appearance with the Atlanta, Georgia-based promotion Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) in 1963. In 1967, he and Lars Anderson held the NWA Southern Tag Team Championship (Georgia version) on two occasions.[6] The duo also won the NWA World Tag Team Championship (Georgia version) in April 1967, vacating the championship later that year. Anderson resumed wrestling for Georgia Championship Wrestling (GCW) in the mid-1970s, this time with Ole Anderson as his partner. The duo held both the NWA Macon Tag Team Championship and the NWA Southeastern Tag Team Championship (Georgia version) on one occasion in 1974, and the NWA Georgia Tag Team Championship on seven occasions between 1974 and 1977.

Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (1966–1985)

In 1966, Anderson (along with Lars) began regularly wrestling for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based promotion Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (MACW). After Lars relocated to Hawaii in 1969, Anderson reformed the tag team with Ole Anderson, who was also billed as his brother. Between 1970 and 1975, he and Ole Anderson won the NWA Atlantic Coast Tag Team Championship (renamed the NWA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championship in 1973) on six occasions. On January 29, 1975, the duo were crowned the inaugural NWA World Tag Team Champions (Mid-Atlantic version). They went on to hold the championship on six further occasions. The duo's final reign ended when they forfeited the championship in December 1981 after Anderson sustained an injury.[4][6] In 1979, Anderson took control of Buddy Rogers' stable of wrestlers, naming it "Anderson's Army". Between 1979 and 1981, Anderson managed wrestlers including The Iron Sheik, Jimmy Snuka, Ray Stevens, The Masked Superstar, and Ivan Koloff.[2][10] The stable was disbanded when Anderson reformed The Minnesota Wrecking Crew with Ole Anderson. In October 1981, Anderson received a stiff baseball bat blow to the back of his head from Wahoo McDaniel, resulting in a stroke.[11] In 1982, Anderson joined Sir Oliver Humperdink's stable, the House of Humperdink. Humperdink acted as Anderson's manager for the remainder of his time in Mid-Atlantic Championship Wrestling (MACW).[12]

Retirement (1985–1991)

Anderson wrestled his final match in 1985.[4][2] Anderson ran a professional wrestling school with Nelson Royal.[13] Wrestlers trained by Anderson included Ken Shamrock.[14][15] Anderson later became a deputy sheriff in North Carolina.

Personal life

Anderson was married to Edith "Edie" Anderson (née Simpson).[5] The couple had a son, Brad, who also became a professional wrestler, as well as two daughters, Alicia Anderson and Pauline Anderson.[7] Anderson had a damaged neck, which caused him to constantly twitch.[16]


Anderson died of a sudden heart attack on October 31, 1991, while attending a law enforcement training event in Huntersville, North Carolina.[5][1]

Championships and accomplishments

Gene (left) as tag team champion alongside Ole Anderson, c. 1982

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Wrestling pro Gene Anderson dies at 52". The Charlotte Observer (via NewsLibrary). The McClatchy Company. November 2, 1991. Eugene Avon Anderson, better known to thousands of wrestling fans as half of the "Minnesota Wrecking Crew," died Thursday, Oct. 31, 1991, while attending a law enforcement training class at the CPCC North campus at Huntersville. He was 52.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Tim Hornbaker (January 3, 2017). Legends of Pro Wrestling: 150 Years of Headlocks, Body Slams, and Piledrivers. Skyhorse Publishing Company, Incorporated. pp. 446–447. ISBN 978-1-61321-875-4.
  3. ^ a b c d e f George Schire (2010). Minnesota's Golden Age of Wrestling: From Verne Gagne to the Road Warriors. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 229. ISBN 978-0-87351-620-4.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Gene Anderson". Retrieved November 23, 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e Dewey Robertson; Meredith Renwick (2006). Bang Your Head: The Real Story of the Missing Link. ECW Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-55022-727-7.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Harris M. Lentz III (January 1, 2003). Biographical Dictionary of Professional Wrestling, 2d ed. McFarland. p. 13. ISBN 978-0-7864-1754-4.
  7. ^ a b Dustin Rhodes (December 14, 2010). Cross Rhodes: Goldust, Out of the Darkness. Simon and Schuster. p. 16. ISBN 978-1-4391-9517-8.
  8. ^ Gerald W. Morton; George M. O'Brien (1985). Wrestling to Rasslin: Ancient Sport to American Spectacle. Popular Press. p. 138. ISBN 978-0-87972-324-8.
  9. ^ Joe "Animal" Laurinaitis; Andrew William Wright (February 8, 2011). The Road Warriors: Danger, Death and the Rush of Wrestling: Danger, Death, and the Rush of Wrestling. Medallion Press, Incorporated. p. 45. ISBN 978-1-60542-164-3.
  10. ^ Sempervive, Mike (July 20, 2003). "Bring the pain: detailed history of U.S. Heavyweight Title". Retrieved November 24, 2016.
  11. ^ Oliver, Greg (February 26, 2024). "Ole Anderson dead at 81". Retrieved February 27, 2024.
  12. ^ Terry Funk; Scott E. Williams; Mick Foley (2006). Terry Funk: More Than Just Hardcore. Sports Publishing LLC. p. 117. ISBN 978-1-59670-159-5.
  13. ^ Steven Johnson; Greg Oliver; Mike Mooneyham (January 11, 2013). The Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame: Heroes and Icons. ECW Press. p. 541. ISBN 978-1-77090-269-5.
  14. ^ Jeremy Wall (2005). UFC's Ultimate Warriors: The Top 10. ECW Press. p. 160. ISBN 978-1-55022-691-1.
  15. ^ Ken Shamrock; Erich Krauss (November 6, 2012). Beyond the Lion's Den: The Life, The Fights, The Techniques. Tuttle Publishing. p. 26. ISBN 978-1-4629-0794-6.
  16. ^ Mooneyham, Mike (April 13, 2013). "Lars Anderson helped pave way for 'Minnesota Wrecking Crew'". The Post and Courier. Evening Post Industries. Retrieved November 9, 2020.
  17. ^ NWA Southeastern Tag Team Title (Georgia) history At
  18. ^ N.W.A. Southern Tag Team Title (Georgia)
  19. ^ N.W.A. World Tag Team Title (Mid-Atlantic/W.C.W)