Stu Hart

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Stu Hart
Stu Hart circa 2001.jpg
Birth name Stewart Edward Hart
Born (1915-05-03)May 3, 1915
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Died October 16, 2003(2003-10-16) (aged 88)
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Stu Hart
Billed height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[1]
Billed weight 231 lb (105 kg)[1]
Billed from Canadian Navy
Debut 1943
Retired 1986

Stewart Edward "Stu" Hart, CM (May 3, 1915 – October 16, 2003) was a Canadian amateur wrestler, professional wrestler, promoter and trainer. Hart founded Stampede Wrestling, a promotion based in Calgary, Alberta and associated wrestling school "The Dungeon." The patriarch of the Hart wrestling family, Stu was the father of many wrestlers, most notably Bret and Owen Hart. Along with Bret and Owen, Hart's trainees included future world champions Chris Jericho, Edge, Christian, Mark Henry, and Chris Benoit.[2]

Early life[edit]

He was born in Saskatoon in 1915[1] to Edward and Elizabeth Stewart Hart. His childhood was impoverished; as a boy, Stu Hart lived in a tent with his family on the prairie in Alberta, living off the land and wild game that Stu took down with his slingshot. In 1928, his father was arrested for failure to pay back taxes, while the Salvation Army sent Stu, his mother, and sisters to live in Edmonton. There, Stu Hart began attending wrestling classes at the YMCA.[3] Hart played football for the Edmonton Eskimos in the 1938 and 1939 seasons. Stu Hart began amateur wrestling when he joined the YMCA in Edmonton in 1929. By 1937 he won a gold medal in the welterweight class from the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. His amateur career peaked in May 1940 when Hart won the Dominion Amateur Wrestling Championship in the light heavyweight category. Hart enlisted in the Canadian Navy and served as the Director of Athletics.

Hart was trained in catch wrestling in his youth by other boys. Speaking of it, Stu said that his "head would be blue by the time they let go of him". Stu taught this 'shoot style' to all who trained under him in the 1980s and 1990s with the thought that teaching his students real submission moves would make their pro wrestling style sharper.

Career[edit]

It was during his service that Stu was introduced to professional wrestling. After recovering from a car accident, Stu competed in various exhibition matches to entertain the troops. In 1946, while receiving training from Toots Mondt, Hart debuted in New York and embarked on a long, eventful career, at one point wrestling a tiger and a grizzly bear.

In 1948, Hart established Stampede Wrestling, which was responsible for developing many second generation wrestling superstars. Three years later, he purchased a mansion in Patterson Heights, Calgary. The Hart House is now considered a historical site for the many famous figures that had passed through its doors. Its basement, known as the Dungeon, provided training grounds with an extensive legacy all its own.

A coach and mentor to countless young athletes, and a generous supporter of community life in Calgary, Hart, a loyal benefactor to more than thirty charitable and civic organizations including the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children and the Alberta Firefighters Toy Fund was appointed on November 15, 2000 to the Order of Canada. He was honored with an investiture on May 31, 2001.[4]

Family[edit]

Main article: Hart wrestling family

For 53 years he was married to U.S. born Helen Smith (February 16, 1924 – November 4, 2001) and together they had and raised twelve children in the Hart mansion. Many of his children went on to become wrestlers or were otherwise involved in wrestling. The couple have thirty-six grandchildren and three great-grandchilden (Teddy Annis's son Bradley, Kristin Neidhart's son Locklin and Jade Hart's daughter Kyra) Tommy Billington's three children, Bronwynn, Marek and Amaris are also included in the list of his grandchildren, and Bronwynn's daughter Miami is also referred to as one of his great-grandchildren.

Death[edit]

Hart was admitted to Rockyview General Hospital on October 3, 2003 for an elbow infection and then developed pneumonia. He also suffered from ailments associated with diabetes and arthritis. He had a stroke and died 13 days later at the age of 88.[1]

In 2005 the City of Saskatoon announced that a street in the city's new Blairmore Suburban Centre development will be named Hart Road in Stu Hart's honor.

On March 27, 2010, Hart was posthumously inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame.[5]

In wrestling[edit]

Wrestlers trained by Hart

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Other titles
    • Northwest Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Pat Meehan and Luigi Macera
    • Dean Youngs Foundation

References[edit]

External links[edit]