Jim Londos

The Golden Greek of Professional Wrestling


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SKU: 9781476696874 Categories: ,

About the Book

The most famous active athlete in the world during the Great Depression was not Babe Ruth, Sonja Henie or Babe Didrikson. It was a determined Greek immigrant who sailed across the Atlantic Ocean as a 15-year-old to escape a demanding father and start a life abroad. Jim Londos slept in railcars and firehouses to make ends meet and quickly found refuge on the mat.
Combining an Old World work ethic with a flair for the dramatic, Londos overcame skeptics and antagonists to become pro wrestling’s greatest star, an international celebrity who walked with presidents, prime ministers and the common man. He was responsible for keeping wrestling alive during the Depression and representing achievement to ethnic minorities, underdogs and women, all of whom he attracted in record numbers. This complete biography of Jim Londos tells the story of the first great immigrant athlete, a man who rescued the soiled sport of wrestling when it was down for the count, and brought hope and inspiration to his countrymen and millions worldwide.

About the Author(s)

Steven Johnson is a veteran newspaper, magazine, and digital reporter and editor in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He has won multiple awards for in-depth reporting and is co-author of five previous books on the history of professional wrestling.

Bibliographic Details

Steven Johnson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Bibliographic Info: ca. 50 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2024
pISBN: 978-1-4766-9687-4
eISBN: 978-1-4766-5480-5
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

• “Jim Londos: The Golden Greek of Professional Wrestling is a captivating read on many levels, and the title does not do it justice. From the perspective of a Greek-American and grandson of Greek immigrants, this is not a tale of athletic accomplishments. It is actually a recitation of the American Dream and a sociological study of how accomplishments in a field, such as athletics, can assist an ethnic immigrant group assimilate; in this case, the Greek-American immigrant of the first half of the 20th century. Steve Johnson captures not only the greatness and athletic achievements of an iconic athlete, but also wonderfully weaves such into the much bigger tapestry, the transformation of American life and the acceptance of ‘others’ into our mainstream. Well-done!”—Gregory J. Stamos, attorney and chairman, American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association Athletic Hall of Fame

• “There have been Nature Boys and Hulks, Stone Colds and Rocks—but only once in history has a wrestler been the most popular athlete on Earth, and his name was Jim Londos. Steven Johnson has written a meticulously researched masterwork on the man who rose from being one of a sea of faceless immigrants into one of the most famous faces in the world, while at the same time transforming pro wrestling from its gritty roots into entertainment for the masses. This is an important work on an important figure in American sports.”—Jim Cornette, author, podcaster, wrestling manager/producer/booker, The Jim Cornette Experience