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|Birth name||Dorrance Wilhelm Funk|
May 4, 1919|
|Died||June 3, 1973
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Dory Funk
Dory Funk Sr.
|Billed height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Billed weight||230 lb (100 kg)|
|Debut||June 16, 1943|
|Retired||April 26, 1973|
Life and career
Funk 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.
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.
After retirement he became a promoter with Doc Sarpolis in Amarillo, Texas, where he led a thriving wrestling scene which 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, Jumbo Tsuruta and Genichiro Tenryu. Many of his wrestlers had played football at West Texas State University in nearby Canyon. 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.
Funk died on June 3, 1973 at the age of 54 of a heart attack while demonstrating a wrestling hold at his home to a visitor. He was buried at Dreamland Cemetery in Canyon, Texas.
On July 15, 2006, Funk was 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 Terry.
Championships and accomplishments
- Championship Wrestling from Florida
- National Wrestling Alliance
- NWA All-Star Wrestling
- NWA Pacific Coast Tag Team Championship (Vancouver version) (2 times) - with Lou Thesz (1) and Pancho Pico (1)
- NWA Western States Sports
- NWA Brass Knuckles Championship (Amarillo version) (2 times)
- NWA North American Heavyweight Championship (Amarillo version) (17 times)
- NWA North American Tag Team Championship (Amarillo version) (7 times) - with Bob Geigel (1), Dick Hutton (1) and Ricky Romero (5)
- NWA Southwest Tag Team Championship (4 times) - with Cowboy Carlos (2) and Bob Geigel (2)
- NWA Western States Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- NWA World Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter awards
- "Dory Funk Sr". Obsessed With Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-04-05.