DATELINE: AUGUST 8, 1966 – NEW YORK CITY
Robert Friedrich, known universally as Ed ‘The Strangler’ Lewis, dies.
Born June 30th, 1891 in Nekoosa, Wisconsin, he began wrestling exhibitions at the age of 14, before eventually gaining prominence as a professional and being renamed Ed “The Strangler Lewis” (in honor of former grappler Evan ‘The Strangler”‘Lewis).
With his fierce headlock maneuver, Lewis became one of the most popular athletes of his time, right behind Babe Ruth and heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey. He reigned the pro wrestling world, before capping things off in 1934 against Jim Londos in front of 35,000 fans at Chicago’s Wrigley Field. In retirement, he would go on to train and act as a mentor to perhaps the greatest world champion of all time, Lou Thesz.
Lewis was inducted into the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2002. He was 75 at the time of his passing.