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|Birth name||Walter Bookbinder|
January 12, 1933|
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||March 6, 2007
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Ray Stern|
|Trained by||The Dusek Family|
At age 13 he joined the Merchant Marines using the name Paul Davis and discovered bodybuilding, a sport he loved so much he would carry a pair of 50 pound dumbbells in his duffel bag for workouts. In 1950 Stern began wrestling at age 17 in New York City working for Rudy Dusek. Due to his penchant for aerial moves promoters nicknamed him "Thunder".
Stern was also an avid flier, and during his wrestling career this allowed him to travel great distances in short periods to conduct more business and matches in a quicker span. He founded Stern Air in Addison, Texas with a fleet of Lear Jets and Falcon's. He even flew to Czechoslovakia to train with their national aerobatic champions, and was so successful that the team named him as an official backup member at the world level.
In 1994 Stern publushed his autobiography, Power and Thunder: The Rags to Riches Story of One Man's Adventure of Fame, Fortune, Romance & Fitness. He was also awarded the Iron Mike Mazurki Award in 2000 at that year's Cauliflower Alley Club reunion, an award that recognizes wrestlers for success outside the industry.
Championships and accomplishments
- Iron Mike Mazurki Award (2000)
- Midwest Wrestling Association (Ohio)
- MWA American Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Don Leo Jonathan
- NWA World Tag Team Championship (San Francisco version) (1 time) – with Ron Etchison
- Class of 2005 (New York State Award)
- slam.canoe.ca - Ray "Thunder" Stern dead at 74 By Greg Oliver. March 6th, 2007